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English Edition 

February-March 1964 to July 1971 
(Issues Nos. 1 to 20) 

Published by: Spartacist Publishing Co. 
Box 1 377 GPO, New York, NY 1 01 1 6 

GCC/IBT»^ 1087-M 

Digitized by the Interne! 



in 2013 


Left Wing Views Kennedy Assassination . . . page 8 
Toward Rebirth of the Fourth International . . , page 11 




The National Committee of the Socialist Workers 
Party expelled Ave members of the party's left wing 
minority at a plenum in New York City at the end of 
December. The five expelled supporters of the SWP's 
Revolutionary Tendency are Shane Mage, James Rob- 
ertson, Geoffrey White, Laurence Ireland, and Lynne 
Harper. The Party Political Committee had suspended 
them two months earlier on the grounds that a Control 
Commission investigation had revealed that Robertson, 
Ireland, and Harper had expressed "disloyal" written 
opinions privately within their own tendency. The 
accused had written that the SWP had ceased to be 
a revolutionary party and had become centrist, and 
that an irreconcilable struggle within the framework of 
party discipline was therefore required against the 
Majority line and leadership. Mage and White were 
accused of having also been leaders in a tendency which 
held or permitted such views. Upon refusing to recant 
or disassociate themselves from one another, all five 
were summarily expelled. 

Disciplined Acceptance 

These expulsions mark a new phase in the thirty- 
five year history of Trotskyism in the United States. 
The degeneration of the party in recent years has 
reached such a point that for the first time in the entire 
experience of the SWP the leadership has used expul- 
sions to rid the party of an internal opposition which 
met the Bolshevik conditions for party membership — 
disciplined acceptance of the policies imposed by the 

Wide Support 

Within the party all oppositional tendencies, dis- 
sidents, and critics, totaling more than a quarter of 
the membership, rallied to the defense of the expelled 
comrades following the preliminary suspensions. Among 

those opposing and protesting the PC action were: 
Myra Tanner Weiss, several times the party's vice- 
presidential candidate; Arne Swabeck, a founding 
leader of American Trotskyism, together with many 
members of his tendency across the country; promin- 
ent party members such as Jack Wright of Seattle and 
Wendell Phillips from Southern California; the Wohl- 
forth-Philips grouping; several party branches includ- 
ing New Haven and Seattle. 

Control Commission 

Two strong reactions felt in the party are respon- 
sible for this outpouring of support from the most 
diverse and politically antagonistic sections of the 
party. One response was indignation at the exclusion 
of party comrades accused of having "disloyal atti- 
tudes." Intensifying this feeling was widespread dis- 
gust with the means which were, and must be, used in 
such political witch hunting. The party leaders refused 
to grant even the formality of a trial. The expulsions 
took place following a sordid investigation led by Con- 
trol Commission member Anna Chester, wife of a PC 
majority member and notorious in her own right for 
her fanatical belief in the party leadership. The inves- 
tigators first demanded access to private minority draft 
documents and correspondence. Under extreme protest 
RT supporters complied with these demands. Appar- 
ently unsatisfied with the results, the Control Commis- 
sion proceeded to call in young and new comrades for 
tape-recorded interrogation sessions in the rooms of 
the party national office. The youth were asked to admit 
their own and their tendency's indiscipline, disloyalty, 
and Menshevism. Failing to win such admissions, the 
investigators then turned to questioning which was 
clumsily designed to entrap the young comrades into 
involuntary confessions of guilt! 

(Continued on Page 3) 


—published bimonthly by supporters of the Revolutionary Ten- 
dency expelled from the Socialist Workers Party. 

EDITOR: James Robertson 
West Coast EDITOR: Geoffrey White 

Subscription: 50^ yearly. Bundle rates for 10 or more copies. 
Main address: Box 1377, G.P.O., New York, N. Y. 10001. Tele- 
phone: UN 6-3093. Western address: P.O. Box 852, Berkeley, Calif. 
94701. Telephone: TH 8-7369. 

Opinions expressed in signed articles do not necessarily repre- 
sent an editorial viewpoint. 

Number 1 f X 523 Feb.-Mar. 1964 


In Lieu of a General Policy Statement ; 

We are publishing the Spartacist because our ex- 
pulsion from the Socialist Workers Party cuts off our 
expression of views within that party. We will continue 
to print a public organ pending readmission to the SWP 
and resumption of our proper role within it. 

We aim to summarize our viewpoint as a brief 
declaraltion of "Where We Stand" in an early issue of 
the Spartacist. In the meantime, while this issue is 
intended to deal specifically with the SWP, its whole, 
content speaks for us as well in a more general way. 

We intend our periodical to be a propagandist pub- 
lication directed toward the same two aims which we 
have hitherto pursued exclusively within the confines 
of SWP membership. We want to influence such radical 
and leftward moving groups or sections as aspire to 
Marxist clarity and direction. We frankly state in 
advance that the purpose of our action is to further 
a revolutionary regroupment of forces within this 
country such that a Leninist vanguard party of the 
working class will emerge. Secondly, we want to win 
individual supporters for our viewpoint from among 
radical youth, militants in the civil rights struggle, and 
seek to create modest nuclei within key sections of the 
working class. Critical to our success will be the ability 
of our comrades to both be involved as revolutionists 
in the social struggles of our times and to undertake 
effective inquiry into the pressing theoretical and po- 
litical issues posed for Maxists today.. 

Our Name; 

We chose the title, Spartacist, after the name, 
Spartakusbund, taken by the German revolutionary left 
wing led by Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht dur- 
ing the First World War. The German Spartaci^jts 
waged a brave struggle ajrainst their imperialist rulers 
in wartime and, moreover, had to fight every step of 
the way in opposition to the degenerate, patriotic Ma- 
jority social democrats of their time. 

(Continued Next Column) 


In the United States the Trotskyist youth in the 
early 1930's called their paper Young Spartacus. It was 
an outstanding journalistic fusion of an advocate of 
revolutionary ideas with a guide to action. We aspire 
to do no more today than serve as well in honor of the 
name we have chosen for our endeavor to express the 
viewpoint of consistent Trotskyism, the authentic rev- 
olutionary Marxism of our epoch. 

And About the SWPt 

Any tendency to surrender to a sense of grievance 
at the outrages committed by the party leadership must 
be resolutely opposed. Certainly the principal authors 
of the witch hunt in the party have drawn a hard line 
between themselves and elementary norms of revolu- 
tionary socialist practice. While these individuals can 
likely be written off, this is by no means the case for 
the bulk of the party's ranks who have shown rather 
the lesser and more reversible weakness of insensitivity 
to blows against party democracy and acquiescence to 

Above all, a political response is required. The 
expulsions cut across necessary clarification of what 
has underlain all the inner-party disputes of recent 
years: i.e., can the struggle for socialism be success- 
fully waged today with the ostensible revolutionary 
Marxists acting as auxilliaries to others? Or does the 
Trotskyists' strategic aim necessarily continue to center 
on themselves winning the leadership of the working 
class ? This issue still has to be concretely and decisive- 
ly met in the SWP. This is but the contemporary formu- 
lation of an old question among socialists. At bottom 
it resolves into the basic division — reform or revolu- 
tion! The presently unresolved quality to the question 
is shown subjectively in the party by the contradiction 
in the consciousness of most members. They still think 
of themselves as Trotskyists, while following revision- 
ist leaders ever further from Marxism! We aim to 
allow no organizational measures of petty bureaucrats 
to stand in the way of the coming polarization along 
principled lines in the centrist SWP. For we know full 
well that many who today place their factional alle- 
giance with the Majority leadership, will tomorrow find 
themselves in the revolutionary left wing. 

We Urge: 

To all supporters of our tendency, friends and 
sympathizers, and defenders of our rights in the ranks 
of the SWP, we urge you to remain resolute in the face 
of the expulsions. Support us in our efforts to gain 
readmission to the party. Abide by party discipline and 
persist in upholding your views. In short, stay in and 
fight in the SWP! | 

We, for our part, intend to exhaust all recourses 
to reverse the expulsions. More — uoe will not be content 
to merely subject the line and actions of the party to 
necessary criticism through the pages of the SPARTACIST 
and elsewhere. It is equally our responsibility to sup- 
port the public actions of the SWP in all principled 
ways. In particular we declare our intention to partici- 
pate fully in the work of the party's 196i pi'esidential 



(Continued from Page 1) 

The second major basis for the rally 
ing to the defense of the Revolutionai-y 
Tendency was fear of the precedent 
set by such expulsions. The exclusions 
came as a climax to a mounting series 
of provocations and repressions over 
the past several years against all op- 
ponents of what has now become the 
Dobbs regime. The blow against the 
RT was broadly and clearly directed 
against the right of any organized 
group, other than the Majority fac- 
tion, to continued existence outside 
convention periods. Thus all opposi- 
tional elements know they are threat- 
ened with similar treatment. 

The political logic behind the expul- 
sions is a simple extension of the propo- 
sition that the Majority's loss of a 
revolutionary working-class perspective 
makes party democracy superfluous in 
its view. Combining this outlook with 
the presence of very widespread in- 
ternal opposition, the Majority has 
found that the apparent luxury of dem- 
ocratic practice, above all the right to 
factions, becomes intolerable. Today 
in facing its internal critics, the Dobbs 
leadership openly advances- the slogan, 
"The Majority Is the Party!" 


The Revolutionary Tendency was 
forhied initially as a party minority in 
1961 in response to the Majority's line 
on the Cuban Question. The Majority 
went beyond even uncritical endorse- 
ment of the Castro government; the 
party leadership ended up putting the 
Cuban Revolution on a par with the 
Russian October as an historic model 
for emulation. 

The Minority charged that this re- 
sponse was an impressionistic abdica- 
tion from fundamental Lenjnist and 
Trotskyist positions on several counts. 
The Majority made a mockery of the 
Permanent Revolution by doing away 
with its most essential aspect — the 
struggle to win workers* power in or- 
der to consummate colonial revolution. 
The Majority ripped the heart from our 
understanding of proletarian democ- 
racy as a vital condition , for opening 
the road to socialism. The Majority 
was necessarily led to deny the need 
for a conscious vanguard party of the 
working class. Similarly, by degrading 
the international struggle for socialism 
to separate, autonomous national inci- 
dents, the Majority emasculated the 
struggle to build the world party of the 
socialist revolution, the Fourth Inter- 

The Revolutionary Tendency counter- 
posed to the specific SWP Majority 
Cuban line a viewpoint which evolved 
into the position that Cuba had become 
a ih'fottned mothers' state, similar to 
the outcome of the Yugoslav and Chi- 
nese revolutions. 

Following the revision of Marxism 
over Cuba, the Majority leaders pro- 
ceeded openly to deepen and extend 
their new vision of reality. Thus Ben 
Bella in Algeria was discovered to be 
laying down the foundations of agri- 
cultural socialism. And toward the bu- 
reaucratic regimes of the Soviet bloc 
all sorts of softening and accommoda- 
tion took place. As a further step, the 
SWP brought about an international 
regroupment of forces, breaking its 
ten-year association with the revolu- 
lutionary Marxists of the International 
Committee of the Fourth International, 
to ally with the Pabloists who had for 
years been press agents for the more 
radical bureaucratic strata within the 
working class and colonial liberation 

As the SWP became more deeply en- 
meshed vicariously in the alien aspira- 
tions of impressively larger movements, 
new deterioration appeared. The party 
itself became caught up in an interre- 
lated pattern of gross abstention from 
struggle in its own right, together with 
a sectarian hostility toward genuinely 
leftward moving, and therefore poten- 
tially competitive, forces. 

The year 1963 found the SWP dem- 
onstrating the most central surrender 
of all — loss of confidence in its own 
earlier conception and role in the com- 
ing American Revolution. The party 
seized upon the growth of the Black 
Muslims as a substitute for the aim of 
building in the United States a unified 
vanguard party based upon Leninist 
program, not upon color. Instead, the 
Majority's National Convention resolu- 
tion projected the schema of an All 
Black Movement for Freedom Now par- 
alleling the separate, white, working- 
class, SWP-led struggle for socialism. 
The resolution suggested hopefully 
that the two movements might one day 
collaborate through cementing a work- 
ing unity between their two vanguards. 
For the SWP to aim to be no more 
than a white party in the United States 
is simply to write off any revolutionary 
perspective at all. L. D. Trotsky noted 
in 1939 that: 

"If it happens that we in the 
SWP are not able to find the road 
to this stratum [the Negroes], 
then we are not worthy at all. The 
permanent revolution and all the 
rest would be only a lie." 
In November, 1963, the Dobbs lead- 
ership of the party mad^ the first big, 
clear transition from revisionist ac- 
commodation towards petty bourgeois 
formations to old-fashioned reformist 
surrender to "one's own" ruling class 
in a moment of crisis. As shown at 
length elsewhere in this issue of the 
Spartacist, the response of the SWP 
leadership to the Kennedy Assassina- 
tion yf/ap not different in kind from 

|~ NEW ~| 

Roger Abrams, supporter of the ReV' 
olutionary Tendency, was expelled from 
the Socialist Workers Party, February 
IS, by the New York City branch in a 
vote of 28 to 11. Comrade Abrams, a 
23-year-old student, had participated 
in a hastily called picket line on Janu- 
ary 22 at Columbia University protest- 
ing the avoarding of an honorary de- 
gree to the Greek Qu^en Frederika. 
Abrams figured prominently in TV cov- 
erage of the demonstration when he 
was led away by guards who objected 
to his sign, "Free Greek Political Pris- 

Comrade Abrams was charged by the 
SWP Majority vnth joining the picket 
line "without prior consultation or ap- 
proval of the branch or branch leader- 
ship." When Abrams stated that he was 
previously unaware of this new policy 
and that he would abide by it, he was 
also accused of internal disloyalty and 

that of the American Communist and 
Socialist Parties. The SWP plenum 
which endorsed this action of the cen- 
tral party leaders also expelled us. 


(in preparation, mimeographed) 

Marxist Bulletin series 

#2 The Nature of the Socialist 
Workers Party — Revolution- 
ary Tendency discussion ma- 

60 pages — 60<i a copy 

#3 The Split in the Revolutionary 
Tendency — including corres- 
pondence in 1962 with the So- 
cialist Labour League 

30 pages — 30^ a copy 

#4 The Expulsions from the So- 
cialist Workers Party — all 
documents on the exclusion of 
KT supporters 

75 pages — 75^ a copy 

order from: SPARTACIST 

Box 1377, G.P.O. 
New York, N. Y. 10001 



(Statement to the National Committee 
of the Socialist Workers Party by the 
five then suspended supporters of the 
' Revolutionary Tendency, Dec. 10,1963.) 

Introduction: The Political 
Committee Action Against Us 

1. On August 2, 19r.3. the Political 
Committee adopted a motion which 
took up some old accusations of Wohl- 
forth and Philips, paraphrasing them 
in summary form as (1) "Hostile At- 
titude toward the Party," (2) "Double 
Recruiting," and (3) "Split Perspec- 
tive." The PC motion concluded by in- 
structing the Control Commission to 
look "into possible violations of tho 
statutes of the party, especially involv- 
ing Robertson, Ireland, and Harper." 
On October 24. after some months of 
purported investigation the CC report- 
ed, exclusively on the basis of written 
opinions offered by Robertson, Ireland, 
and Harper internally within their own 
tendency, that: "In these statements 
by the Robertson-Mage- White minor- 
ity their hostile and disloyal attitude 
toward the party is clearly manifest- 
ed." The PC, in its motion of Novem- 
ber 1, found it necessary to expand on 
the CC's sole conclusion by presenting 
lurid accusations created out of thin 
air and giving as sole source "as indi- 
cated by the Control Commission's re- 
port." The PC went on to suspend from 
party membership comrades Harper, 
Ireland, Mage, Robertson, and White. 
Moreover, the suspensions were with- 
out specified time limit and were to 
be with "the same force and effect" as 
expulsion during the period of suspen- 

2. Thus for the first time in the 
history of the SWP a leadership has 
taken the punitive action of exclusion 
from the party of minority supporters 
on the basis of opinions! This action 
is rendered even more grave and un- 
precedented by the fact that the views 
for which punishment was inflicted 
were themselves nothing more than 
personal contributions to a private dis- 
cussion within a minority tendency! 


Background: Recent Trends in the Party 

3. Through the period of the last 
two party conventions (1961, 1963), 
the party has witnessed a systematic 
and general attrition of representation 
on the NC of all minority factions or 
tendencies, dissidents, and other crit- 

ics. Thus, for example, Bert Deck, the 

then managing editor of the Interna- 
tional Socialist Review and associate 
of Murry Weiss was removed from 
the NC after he offered a slight modi- 
fication to the PC line on the Cuban 
Question for the 1961 convention. In 
the same period there has been a sys- 
tematic denial, compounded by calcu- 
latedly hysterical Majority hostility, of 
the rights of the party membership in 
branches — above all in the largest 
branch, New York — to express opin- 
ions, offer recommendations to leading 
bodies, or even to discuss new develop- 
ments or the actions and decisions of 
the party leadership. 

4. A year ago the Majority made an 
assault on the very right of our mi- 
nority, and by implication any minor- 
ity, to exist within the party. A pro- 
vocative attempt was made by Major- 
ity supporters to intrude into a pri- 
vate Minority patherinc:. As the up- 
shot of our informal protest to party 
authorities, it was revealed that the 
incident had taken place at the insti- 
gation and under the direction of a 
Majority PC member. The leadership 
white-washed this action by adopting 
a condemnatory motion which accused 
the Minority of boing the guilty party 
for having held such a private tenden- 
cy meeting! Thc.'^c events are fully 
detailed in our document "For the 
Right of Organized Tendencies to Ex- 
ist within the Party!" 

5. In connection with the last party 
convention, the Majority made severe 
incursions upon party democracy and 
upon our party rights: 

a) The National Secretary, Dobbs, 
without, offering any reason, refused 
to print in the bulletin material on the 
international question which we deem- 
ed important to present to the party. 
In the same pve-convention discussion 
period the National Secretary likewise 
deferred printing documentary mate- 
rial on the youth question. Later an 
opportune legal problem presented it- 
self as an excuse for refusal. A key 
document in this collection has been 
kept from the movement since Sep- 
tember, 1961, by the PC. 

b) At the convention itself the Ma- 
jority refused tc give any represen- 
tation on the National Committee to 
our minority despite a sufficient nu- 
merical as well as clear cut political 
basis for such representation. Thus the 
Majority has not only deprived us oSf 
our proper voice within the party, but 
it has also put into question the legit- 
imate authority of the leading party 

bodies, the NC and PC, by electing 
^hem on a restricted basis. 

c) In reporting the convention to 
the public, the Militavt^ article, after 
identifying James Robertson and Shane 
Mage among others by name, stated 
that "They charged that ... the lead- 
ership of the SWP were in the process 
of abandoning Marxism." This cynical 
abuse of control of the public press 
by the Majority to identify and iso- 
late inner-party opponents is indeed an 
abandonment of the method of con- 
troversy among Marxists. 

6. In a continuous series of inci- 
dents over the past two years, the Ma- 
jority has abused its leading position 
in the party to hinder, harrass, and 
immobilize supporters of our tendency. 
The evident general aim of the Ma- 
jority has been to make as the penalty 
for individual comrades becoming op- 
positionists the paralysis of any po- 
litical role, either within the party or 
in broader outside movements. Thus 
there has accumulated a seemingly 
endless list of all-too-legitimate griev- 
ances on this score. Perhaps the most 
outrageous and flagrant incident of 
harrassment was that against Com- 
rade Shirley in removing her from 
Southern SNCC work. Most common 
has been the regular, rarely overridden 
refusal to accept into membership con- 
tacts brought to the party by the mi- 
nority. Yet throughout the past sev- 
eral years, and whatever the provoca- 
tion, our tendency has always coun- 
selled and insisted that its supporters 
abide in a disciplined way by the deci- 
sions the Majority imposed upon the 

7. The foregoing sections are in- 
tended only to sketch the immediately 
relevant portion of the party's organ- 
izational side in the past period. We 
do not suggest that these are the main 
characteristics of the party's evolu- 
tion, even of the organizational aspect. 
Rather what is described is that part 
of the party's face shown to the par- 
ty's minorities, particularly to our own 
tendency. At the same time as the 
comrades of the Revolutionary Ten- 
dency have responded in a disciplined 
fashion to developments within the 
party, we have not failed to form and 
offer opinions among ourselves and to 
the whole party as to the meaning, 
implications, and direction of the course 
the party has been pursuing in regards 
to both political revisionism and or- 
ganizational degeneration. The deter- 
mination of the more general processes 
at work in shaping the party was ex- 



actly the subject under hot discussion 
in the tendency when the documents 
were drafted over which the Majority 
now raises a scandal in its desire to 
exclude us from the party. See, for 
example, Robertson and Ireland's "The 
Centrism of the SWP and The Tasks 
of the Minority" (September 6, 1962), 
and also the earlier basic tendency 
statement, "In Defense of a Revolu- 
tionary Perspective" (in 1962 SWP 
Bulletin No. 4). 

Suffice it to say that the most salient 
features of the party's overall motion 
in the last period have been as fol- 
lows : 

a) In general political approach the 
party has sought after substitutes for 
a revolutionary working class per- 
spective — ^notably the surrender of all 
Marxist responsibility toward the Cu- 
ban Revolution through abasement as 
an uncritical apologist for the Castro 
regime; repeating this process over 
Ben Bella's Algeria; negotiating an 
alliance of convenience and mutual am- 
nesty with fellow Pabloists internation- 
ally ("reunification of the F.I.") ; and 
most lately, within the United States, 
in a will-o'-the-wisp chase after Black 

b) Yet while the party Majority has 
eagerly given itself over to enthusiasm 
for the goals of alien movements, it 
has resolutely avoided such opportu- 
nities as would further involvement 
and struggle in the party's own right. 
Thus actual civil rights work, North 
or South; a serious approach to Pro- 
gressive Labor or participation in the 
travel to Cuba committee and its trip; ' 
any modest effort at rebuilding the 
party's contact with the workers, such 
as plant press sales or Hazard miners 
work, have all either come at the Mi- 
norities' urgings, but vastly too little 
and too late, or have been refused 
outright. The proper word for such 
conduct is abstentionism. 

c) It was in the party leadership's 
instant, instinctive responses in the 
moments of great crisis or apparent 
peril — the Cuban missile crisis last 
year and the Kennedy assassination 
this year — that the party's utter loss 
of a revolutionary compass has been 
most decisively shown. (See our state- 
ment "Declaration on the Ctaban Cris- 
is." later printed in 1963 SWP Bulletin 
No. 18.) 

d) Within the - party the shift in 
equilibrium of forces in the central 
party leadership through the retire- 
ment of Cannon and the elimination 
of Weiss has intensified the drive by 
the Dobbs regime to solve all ques- 
tions by brute organizational force. 

As a result of the totality of these 
underlying considerations the Major- 
ity leadership has been driven now to 
seek the exclusion of our tendency 

from the party. In essence this is a 

"punishment" of us for our very ten- 
acity in remaining in the party despite 
its degeneration and for our intransi- 
gence in struggling against that degen- 


The Accusations Against Us 

8. In view of the material already 
written, listed below, there is by this 
time little that need be added as re- 
gards the vacuity, irrelevance, or down- 
right falseness of the accusations of 
statutary violations made against our 
tendency or its individual supporters. 

The party leadership has officially 
presented its case against our tendency 
in the following materials: a) letter 
of National Secretary Dobbs to James 
Robertson, July 5, 1963; b) PC motion 
of August 2, 1963, "On the Robertson- 
Ireland-Harper Case"; c) "Report of 
Control Commission on the Robertson 
Case," October 24, 1963; d) PC motion 
of November 1, 1963. The following re- 
plies and refutations have been offered 
by individual tendency supporters: a) 
letter of Robertson to Dobbs, July 9, 
1963; b) letter of Geoffrey White to 
the PC, November 5, 1963; c) letter 
of Laurence Ireland to Dobbs, Novem- 
ber 8, 1963; d) letter of Shane Mage 
to the PC, November 10, 1963; and 
e) letter of Lynne Harper to the NC, 
November 18, 1963. We urge the Na- 
tional Committee members to familiar- 
ize themselves with this correspondence. 

9. The accusations of our indisci- 
pline were originally put before the 
party by the Wohlforth-Philips "Re- 
organized Minority Tendency" in ap- 
pendices to their document, "Party and 
Class" (1963 SWP Bulletin No. 27). 
We shortly replied with our "Discipline 
and Truth" (in SWP Bulletin No. 30). 
In our reply we stated that "Party 
and Class" lied, and we sought to show 
why its authors had been led into such 
action. With documents written earlier 
within the tendency, which we ap- 
pended to our reply, we proved that 
we had been the object of false accu- 
sations. Moreover, to even the most 
superficial observer there is an in- 
soluble contradiction in Wohlforth and 
Philips' accusations against us. // 
the charges were true that we were 
some kind of split-crazed wreckers, 
then Wohlforth-Philips should have 
taken far more decisive and prompt 
action than their act of waiting a 
year after first revealing within the 
then common tendency such heinous 
crimes, then simply repeating the rev- 
elations to the party as a whole. But 
if the charges were not true, they 
should never have been made in the 
first place. Instead they went ahead 
to publicize their accusaticfns and then 
deprecated them by declaring them to 
be no valid basis for organizational 

action against us by the paity leader- 


Nonetheless, it is to the credit of 
Ihe Wohlforth-Philips group that they 
have now come forward, first, in dis- 
associating themselves from their ear- 
lier accusation that we had a split or- 
ientation. This had been the key point 
in all of Wohlforth's other charges. 
Secondly, it is to their credit that they 
oppose organizational action against 
us, thereby implicitly declaring that 
their own old accusations had been 
without real, actionable substance, but 
were rather their own interpretations. 

10. It would be an enormous and 
pointless task to seek to pin down and 
dispose of very many of the irrelev- 
ancies or wild distortions in the charg- 
es which the PC and CC have levelled 
against us: e.g., the abusive nonsense 
about "double" recruitment or the 
childishness of proposing to expell us 
because we are alleged to have a "split 
perspective." Indeed the core of the 
case against us collapses immediately 
upon examination because it depends 
upon one false equation, to wit: party 
members, even if organizationally loyal 
and disciplined (as we are), can be 
"really" loyal only if, in the course of 
carrying . out party decisions, they 
agree with the leadership. 

No matter from what side the Dobbs- 
ian interpretations given in the PC 
and CG material are approached, it 


"After a serious warning was 
given to the anti-Party elements 
by the Fourth Plenary Session of 
the Seventh Central Committee of 
the Party, Kao Kang not only did 
not admit his guilt to the Party, 
but committed suicide as an ulti- 
mate expression of his betrayal of 
the Party." 

— Resolution on the Anti-Party 
Bloc of Kao Kang and Jao Shu- 
Shih Passed by the National 
Conference of the Communist 
Party of China, March 31, 1955. 

always turns out that to the central 
leaders, "loyalty" to the party means 
loyalty to the leaders. Because our 
acceptance of discipline justifies and 
is justified by our inner-party strug- 
gle against the leadership policies, 
our carrying out of party decisions is 
dismissed as "cynical" and presumably 
then defective because it lacks sincer- 
ity. Thus, many of the "quotations," 
even in their selected and trimmed 
form, offered as the views of tendency 
supporters can have as their only 
purpose making the point that we don't 
believe in or offvee with the party's 
changing policies and direction of re- 
cent years, nor do we respect the in- 
itiators and directors of those changes, 

(Contiiiiied Next Page) 



. . . RESCIND 

It is elementary, but no longer ob- 
vious In the SWP, to note that disci- 
pline has meaning especially when 
there is disagreement. Democratic cen- 
tralism is most fully called upon to 
regulate differences and mobilize the 
entire party for carrying out arrived- 
at decisions when there are sharp and 
deep-going divisions. To exclude from 
the party those who have sharp and 
deep differences, those who believe 
that the policies and course of the Ma- 
jority leadership are part of a pro- 
found degeneration, is to amply prove 
the existence of that degeneration. 

11. For our part, we have and do 
declare that our political loyalty lies 
exclusively with the Trotskyist pro- 
gram. It is as a derivative of this 
prime consideratioa that our tendency 
has always sought to abide fully by 
the discipline of the party, despite the 
rapidly advancing disease of degener- 
ation in the party. It is in this sense 
and no other that the much-quoted 
phrase in the Robertson-Ireland docu- 
ment was advanced about avoiding 
"mistaken concepts of loyalty to a 
diseased shell." We would be peculiar 
people indeed should we find our loyal- 
ty resting with the cancer growing 
within the party! This should have 
been evident to any honest reader of 
the materials in question, for other- 
wise many other statements in these 
inner-tendency documents would be in 
flat contradiction and would reduce the 
entire set of opinions to a meaningless 
jumble. Notable in this connection is 
the statement in Comrade Harper's 
draft, "Orientation of the Party Mi- 
nority in Youth Work" that ". . . we 
must act as disciplined SWP members 
at all times. . . ." Again, in Comrade 
Ireland's "What the Discussion is Real- 
ly About," is found: "But since our 
perspective is one of remaining in the 
SWP, we can hardly afford to violate 
'party discipline or party statutes.' " 
(Incidentally, this latter document had 
been turned over to the Control Com- 
mission by Comrade Ireland to remove 
any possible ambiguities about his 
opinions on actionable subjects. How- 
ever, the CC in its "Report . . ." gave 
no acknowledgement of the receipt or 
very existence of this document, much 
less any mention of its contents!) Fin- 
ally, to put this whole point another 
way, if the SWP has become centrist 
in character as we stated in our main 
resolution to the last party conven- 
tion, "Toward Rebirth of the Fourth 
International" (that ". . . the centrist 
tendency is also prevalent among cer- 
tain groups which originally opposed 
the Pablo faction"), then some organ- 
izational concltisions reasonably follow 
that justify our acting as disciplined 

party members despite the party's cen- 
trist politics. Further, it necessarily 
follows that such a conclusion is no 
more or less incompatible with party 
membership than is holding the politi- 
cal analysis which led to it. 


What Our Expulsion 
Would Mean for the Party 

12. It may be that sections of the 
National Committee have not thought 
through the international implications 
of expelling our tendency from the 
SWP. Within the limitations of the 
Voorhis Act, the American party has 
been a prime mover in the recent re- 
unification with the Pabloist forces of 
the International Secretariat. In an 
effort to draw into the unity as many 
of the scattered and divided groupings 
as possible, big promises were made to 
those opposed to the basis of the uni- 
fication to convince them to come along 
anyhow. For example Dobbs and Han- 
sen wrote in the article "Reunification 
of the Fourth International" (Fall, 
1963, International Socialist Review) 
as follows: 

"Groupings with much deeper dif- 
ferences than opposing views over 
who was rijjht in a past dispute can 
coexist and collaborate in the same 
revolutionary-socialist organization 
under the rules of democratic cen- 
tralism." . . . and 

"The course now being followed by 
Healy and Posadas and their follow- 
ers is much to be regretted. Under 
the democratic centralism which gov- 
erns the Fourth International, they 
could have maintained their political 
views within the organization and 
sought to win a majority." 
Even more recently the United Sec- 
retariat of the Fourth International it- 
self declared in its statement of No- 
vember 18, 1963, in reply to the Healy- 
Lambert grouping, that: 

"The fact remains, however, that 
they [British and French 'Interna- 
tional Committee' sections^] have dem- 
onstratively refused to unite in a 
common organization in which they 
would be in a minority. They dem- 
onstratively refused to accept the 
majority decision of the Internation- 
al Committee forces on reunification. 
They demonstratively refused in ad- 
vance to abide by majority decision 
of the world Trotskyist movement 
on reunification." . . . and 
"As for our position, we stand as 
before for reunification — on the basis 
of the principled program adopted 
at the Reunification Congress— of all 
forces that consider themselves to be 
revolutionary socialists." 

13. Our tendency opposed the pro- 
jected unity move. Indeed the tendency 
itself was born in opposition to the 
political course which underlay the 

projected unification. We stated our 
opposition and proposed an entirely 
different pjolitical basis for reuniting 
the world movement in our 1963 draft 
international resolution, "Toward Re- 
birth of the Fourth International." We 
also made it crystal clear in advance 
that should the pro-Pabloist unifica- 
tion win a majority and go into effect, 
.then the dissident and opposing minor- 
ity internationally who shared our 
general outlook should go through the 
experience of the falsely-based unity 
attempt. V/e stated our willingness 
"demonstratively" to accept the reuni- 
fication in the entire concluding section 
of our recent international resolution 
which states: 

"(19) 'Reunification' of the Trotsky- 
ist movement on the centrist basis 
of Pahloism in any of its variants 
would be a step away from, not to- 
ward, the genuine rebirth of the 
Fourth International. If, however, 
the majority of the presently exist- 
ing Trotskyist groups insists on go- 
ing through ^ith such 'reunification,' 
the revolutionary tendency of the 
world movement should not turn its 
back on these cadres. On the con- 
trary: it would be vitally necessary 
to go through this experience with 
them. The revolutionary tendency 
would enter a 'reunified' movement 
as a minority faction, with a per- 
spective of winning a majority to the 
program of workers' democracy. The 
Fourth International will not be re- 
born through adaptation to Pabloite 
revisionism: only by political and 
theoretical struggle against all forms 
of centrism can the world party of 
the socialist revolution finally be 


"In the last analysis, comrades, 
the majority is the party. I'll tell 
you why." 

Report by Farrell Dobbs to New 
York Local on Suspensions, No- 
vember 7, 1963. 

And we ourselves have more than 
fully met the conditions set forth by 
Dobbs-Hansen and by the United Sec- 
retariat. On top of abiding by disci- 
pline and accepting decisions, we have 
resisted abuse, disloyalty, calculated 
incitement, and outright provocation 
by the American leadership to force us 
to leave "voluntarily." Our tendency 
is therefore virtually unique in its 
ability to be the living test of the 
genuineness of the claimed democratic- 
centralist based and inclusive reunifi- 
cation. Several things will be clear 
should we be thrown out for liolding 
opinions by no means more critical of 
the U.S. and international Pabloist 
leaderships than views held by others 



who have been publicly and repeatedly 
invited to join in the unification. If we 
are excluded, then the true scope of 
the unity as an act of bad faith and 
deliberate fraud by its instigators will 
be definitely shown to all Trotskyists. 

In a Tery practical and concrete way, 
the SWP-NC, by its action towards us 
at its December, 1963 Plenum, will go 
far in making final for this period 
both the shupe of its own relations 
with the world movement as well as 
those of its international allies. 

14. Are all sections of the National 
Committee prepared to take responsi- 
bility for the kind of developing in- 
ternal life which our exclusion would 
formalize? We are by no means the 
only people in the party who believe 
that the SWF is degenerating apace 
or that the Dobbs regime is a disaster 
for the party. If these views become 
proscribed through the awful example 
of our expulsion, then such opinions 
would be driven into a fetid under- 
ground existence. Inevitably there 
would be a multiplication of the symp- 
toms of organizational degeneracy — 
the flaring up of intensely hate-filled 
quarrels on the permitted secondary 
questions, cliquist plots, hysterical re- 
actions by a leadership fighting dimly 
seen enemies. Such an atmosphere 
could only accelerate the rightward mo- 
tion of the party's cadres and train 
the newer members in a caricature of 
Marxist party life. 

These are some of the general con- 
siderations which have always kept 
the Trotskyists from proscribing opin- 
ions within the party, however obnox- 
ious they may be to the leadership, or 
of expelling the holders of such views. 
Moreover, in the specific case before 
the NC, action against our tendency 
will not achieve its desired aim of 
turning the party into a docile ma- 
chine. Others will continue as oppo- 
sitionists within the party, and we 
will press our struggle from outside 
for readmission and for acceptance of 
our political viewpoint. It is within the 
province of the NC to prevent the de- 
moralization and splintering of the 
party being brought on by a bureau- 
cratically heavy-handed leadership. 

15. For the NC to intervene to re- 
turn the party to the revolutionary 
organizational practices of the past is 
to hold open the possibility of a revo- 
lutionary future for the SWF. If the 
NC permits the destruction of our 
party membership, it thereby acquiesc- 
es to the destruction of any chance for 
a reversal of the rightward, revisionist 
course of the party because those who 
opposed it would he excluded. By elim- 
inating the content of party democracy, 
the degeneration of the party becomes 
irrcversil)le. Thin wed vot he! 

The SWP Majority reflects no im- 

placable bureaucratic social layer. Its 
loss of a proletarian, revolutionary 
perspective, its eager search for sub- 
stitutes and short cuts — idealizing the 
radical petty-bourgeois leaderships: the 
Castros, Ben Bellas, Malcolm X's — is 
not some inevitable automatic reflex 
based upon a position of privilege. 
Rather despair and ensuing degenera- 
tion have come through prolonged iso- 
lation, persecution, weakness, and ag- 

The NC stands now at a last cross- 
roads, at which it yet has open a con- 
scious choice. Sections of the party 
leadership may already have gone 
much further in political revision or 
bureaucratic organizational practice 
than they ever intended. Although it 
would be idle to deny that it is very 
late, there is, still a choice; the party 
does not have to, is not predestined to, 
continue down the road it is travelling 
at full speed. To repeat: to halt now 
is to leave open the way back so the 
party might again have a revolution- 
ary future. 


Conclusion: Rescind the Suspensions! 

16. In the normal course of seeking 
to rectify a mistake or an injustice 
within the party, one would normally 
turn readily to the NC as a resort, but 
under the extraordinary circumstances 
in which the central party leadership 
has plunged the party, with the NC's 
acquiescence to date, we must offer a 
reservation. Presumably we are ex- 
pected to appeal the disciplinary action 
of the PC against us. But how can we 
appeal against what has not been the 
finding of any trial; how can we ap- 
peal against accusations which have 
no relation to any alleged intended vio- 
lation of the rules of democratic-cen- 

17. Despite the outrageous position 
in which we would be placed in appeal- 
ing to the NC from a non-existent 
trial, we are prepared to send a rep- 
resentative to appear before the NC at 
its coming plenum to present our case 
and to answer questions the plenum 
may wish to put to us. Because of the 
grave defects in the present situation 
we do not turn to the NC with an ap- 
peal but with the demand: RESTORE 

18. Finally, we call upon all party 
members, branches, individual NC 
members, and political tendencies in 
the party to present letters and state- 
ments to the NC calling for the lifting 
of the suspensions and restoration of 
ovr party rights as a vital interest of 
the party itself! 



(Presented by Myra Tanner Weiss to 
the SWP Political Committee, Novem- 
ber 1, 1963.) 

MOTION: To reject the report of one 
elected member of the Control Com- 
mission and a "representative" as un- 
fair, factionally motivated, and a viola- 
tion of the limited province of the 
Control Commission. 

1. Comrades are elected to the Con- 
trol Commission, not on the basis of 
their political maturity, to evaluate po- 
litical positions and theories. They are 
elected as people who can be trusted 
to be fair, above temporary factional 
alignments, and scrupulously attentive 
to facts and their verification. This- re- 
port presumes to examine and evaluate 
political documents, thoughts, opinions, 
and to characterize them aa "loyal" or 
"disloyal." Such an undertaking is be- 
yond the province of the Control Com- 

2. The "evidence" of "disloyalty" 
submitted in the report consists en- 
tirely of opinions, and no one in the 
history of the Socialist Workers Party 
has ever been punished for thoughts 
that differ with those of the majority 
— nor ever can be if we are to remain 
a revolutionary force. 

3. It is impermissible for a ruling 
faction to use its majority power to 
pry into the written or oral work of 
an oppositional tendency. Any faction 
has the inalienable right to discuss 
freely and in private its point of view. 
Furthermore, the material presented 
by the report does not consist of fac- 
tion decisions, but preliminary opin- 
ions expressed by individuals in the 
course of preparing for decisions. 

To violate the right of a faction to 
its own internal life is to destroy the 
Leninist conception of organization. 
Democratic centralism not only places 
obligations on a minority to abide by 
the decisions of the majority, but it 
places obligations on the majority to 
protect the democratic right of organ- 
ized dissension for minorities. 

In an epoch which we have charac- 
terized as a crisis of leadership, in an 
era when socialism suffers from the 
monstrous tyranny of Stalinism, it is 
unthinkable for us to lower our own 
high standards of democratic proce- 
dures. The world revolution is united 
today in the struggle for socialist de- 
mocracy. If we are not its champions 
in our own internal functioning, we 
have no right to occupy the revolution- 
ary podium. 

4. For two of the comrades cited for 
suspension by Comrade Dobbs, we are 

(Continued on Page 8) 





The <u$a88ination of Preaident Ken- 
uedy waa an acid test of the class posi- 
tion of every left movement in the 
United States. Among the radical 
groups in America, a qualitative divi- 
sion may be perceived between those 
tendencies which turned resolutely to 
the working class for an independent 
alternative to bourgeois statesmanship, 
and those formations which joined their 
cries to the liberal threnody for the 
late president. 


Nov, 27, 1963 — "The assassination of 
President Kennedy, by a still unknown 
assailant, not only reflects the exist- 
ence of serious political contradictions 
for the U.S. ruling class, but raises 
these contradictions to new heights. . . . 

"While it is essential that revolu- 
tionaries evaluate all of the political 
aspects of the assassination, it is also 
necessary for revolutionaries to reject 
assassination as a conceivable form of 
political struggle. The killing of one 
man cannot alter the course of history. 
Only efforts by millions to change the 
particular political and economic sys- 
tem can be decisive. . . . Finally, assas- 
sination only tends to confuse the real 
issues that face the workers. It en- 
courages the ruling class to step up the 
oppression of the people. 

"Assassination and individual vio- 
lence, however, is part and parcel of 
the Capitalist system. . . . 

". . . On several occasions our gov- 
ernment has engineered or supported 
actual organized assassinations with 
great relish. The assassination of Pa- 
trice Lumumba was warmly welcomed 
by the Kennedy Administration. Fur- 
thermore, assassination has also been 
8 way of eliminating friends who have 
outlived their usefulness to the Admin- 
istration. Only weeks before the Ken- 
nedy assassination, the Administration 
(and many who now cry hypocritical 
tears for Kennedy) were laughing up 
their sleeves over the U.S.-inspired as- 
sassination of Diem and his brother in 
South Viet-Nam, . . . 

"In the face of this continued ruth- 
lessness and terror, the people and es- 
pecially those who consider themselves 
fighters for socialism, should not be 
caught up in the whirl-wind of ruling 
class contradictions. The people should 
utilize every moment for pressing their 
demands. They should not wait for the 
Johnson Administration to resume the 

offensive — as it will — against the peo- 
ple's fight for a better life. Johnson's 
record is part and parcel of the op- 
pression of the ruling class — with a 
dash of Southern seasoning added for 
good measure. 

"The People are still faced with rac- 
ism, unemployment, poor housing and 
schooling, high rents and high-priced 
(or no) medical services. The People, 
if they are really to unite, should unite 
around programs dealing with their 


Nov. 25, 1963— "The United States of 
America came close to a fascist coup 
d'etat, and the establishment of a 
Right Wing, reactionary, totalitarian 

"This is really the main and funda- 
mental fact to emerge from the assas- 
sination of President Kennedy, 

"That the coup d'etat did not actual- 
ly come off can only be explained by 
the fact that the forces of political re- 
action, virulent racism and 'preventive 
war' militarism, had failed to coalesce 
at the critical moment and emerge with 
'a man on horseback.' 

"The trend to totalitarian dictator- 
ship can only be reversed by the inter- 
vention of an ever largrer mass of the 
millionfold working class movement, 
and of unity between black and white 
workers against the common oppres- 

(The Workers World deserves credit 
for reprinting excerpts from Fidel 
Castro's excellent statement on the as- 


(British organ of the Posadas group, 
the Latin-American-based Trotskyist 

Jan., 1964 — "The assassination of Ken- 
nedy is the result of a struggle be- 
tween bandits. One faction has liqui- 
dated a member of the opposite faction. 

"Within the heart of Yankee impe- 
rialism there are two tendencies. One 
tendency centers on what is called 
the Pentagon and is wrongly called 
'right wing' (there is no left or right 
for capitalism but simply different po- 
sitions in relation to the same policy) 
and the 'Kennedy' tendency. . , . 

"Imperialism, the Kennedy tendency, 
tries to profit from the consei'vative in- 
terests of the Soviet bureaucracy to 

prolong its own existence to the max- 

"The so-called Pentagon section is 
aware of this situation and feels that 
the very time delay means a direct loss 
for its economic, social and ideological 
interests. That is the reason for the 
offensive that it has just carried out. 

"The Pentagon killed Kennedy with- 
in the framework ol a policy designed 
to launch the war by surprise at that 
(Continued Next Page) 

. , . WEISS 

(Continued from Page 7) 
not even provided "disloyal" quotes, 
illegally obtained. Where is the evi- 
dence of their "disloyalty"? Associa- 
tion? Bourgeois law is at least formal- 
ly more democratic. 

6. Even with selected quotes of se- 
lec^d documents, the loyalty, not "dis- 
loyalty" of the minority tendency 
would be indicated. Surely these com- 
rades know that the demand to see 
their internal faction discussion ma- 
terial is a violation of their democratic 
rights. Yet they show to a Commission 
member documents that member has 
no right to see. Will the repeated in- 
sistence of the minority comrades of 
intention to abide by the discipline of 
the party avail it nothing? If the ma- 
jority is so anxious for a split, why not 
have the patience to wait for "sub- 
versive" thoughts to be translated into 

6. If the minority surreptitiously re- 
el uits youth to the Party on the basis 
of its factional line, what is there to 
fear? Are we not confident enough of 
our point of view, and with full con- 
trol of the public expression of it, to 
be certain that we can win the best 
to the majority? Since when did rev- 
olutionary Trotskyists have to resort 
to organization means to protect its 
liberating ideas? Are we afraid they 
will recruit so many that we shall no 
longer be the majority? That is un- 
fortunately not very realistic; but if 
it were, we can hope that we have set 
a good example of how a majority 
should rule. 

7. I propose that we apologize to the 
minority for the unwarranted investi- 
gation and express our desire to col- 
laborate in comradely fashion in the 
future for the building of the Socialist 
Workers Party. 



moment most convenient to itself." 

Ftom the publications of the three 
groups above, it can he seen that a 
basic class position was maintained 
during their discussions of the Ken- 
nedy assassination. A class line must 
not only continue to orient the working 
class against their claxs enemy, the 
bourgeoisie, but must provide a correct 
analysis for the workers in a period 
of confusion and consternation. The 
three groups above never last sight of 
their ruling class enemy — nor did they 
hesitate to point this out to their 

There were eaSaggerations and mis- 
takes, such as the Workers WorliTs 
confusion between fascism and a coup 
d'etat. Or the Progressive Labor 
group's referral to "our" government. 
And of course the Posadas tendency's 
conclusion thfit the Pentagon assassin- 
ated Kennedy can only be considered 
interesting speculation at this point. 

These positions stand out in bold 
contrast to those periodicals and organ- 
izations whose^ "Socialism" and "Marx- 
ism" led them in the moment of panic 
to genuflect to the ruling class. State- 
ments about "Loving (!) This Coun- 
try (!!)" and the like can only serve 
to confuse and misdirect socialist mili- 
tants. Compare the following examples. 

Dec. 13, 1963 — "I am writing this on 
the day of mourning under a profound 
sense of shock and loss and shame. We 
mourn a gallant President, sincerely 
interested in peace and freedom, who 
was growing in strength. . . . 

"You will be reading this column 
after Thanksgiving Day, when we will 
be putting this day of mourning into 
perspective. For what can we Ameri- 
cans be thankful in this time of trag- 
edy? We can be thankful for some en- 
richment of memory. We can be thank- 
ful for the general outpouring of grief 
and recognition of the shame at the 
atmosphere of hate in which the trag- 
edy took place. We can give .thanks for 
the orderly succession and the absence 
of bitter partisanship in President 
Johnson's accession to his high office." 

— Norman Thomas 

"The Socialist Party joins the entire 
nation in deeply mourning the tragic 
death of our President. The senseless 
and dastardly murder which, took the 
life of John P. Kennedy was one of 
the greatest crimes and tragedies in 
the history of our country. To Mrs. 
Kennedy and the entire Kennedy fam- 
ily we extend our most sincere and 
heartfelt condolences." 

Rcsolutwii of National Comtnittee of 

The Socialist Party 


Nov. 26, 1963 — "Nation in Mourning 
for Martyred Leader" (Banner front 
page hcadlint.) 

"We share— ^ along with all other 
Americans — immeasurable grief at the 
monstrous and shocking assassination 
of President John F. Kennedy. 

"We extend our deepest sympathy to 
Mrs. Kennedy, to his son and daughter, 
and to his entire family. . . . 

"Although anguished in sorrow over 
the loss of the highest officer of our 
nation, the American people will not be 
panicked. They' will rally around the 
constitution, defend its basic Demo- 
cratic traditions and rights, and they 
will not be diverted from the determin- 
ation that our nation shall trod the 
path of ever-expanding democracy, so- 
cial progress and peace." 


"Let me then make clear as 
your President that I am deter- 
mined upon our system's survival 
and success, regardless of the cost 
and regardless of the peril." 
— Speech of President Kennedy to 

the American Society of News- 
paper Editors, April 21, 1961. 

(Following the Bay of Pigs 



Dec, 2, 1963 — "If We Really Love This 
Countrjy We Must Abjure Hatred" 
(Front page headline quoting Chief 
Justice Earl Warren as a "Voice of 

"The American people have under- 
gone one of the most traumatic expe- 
riences in its history. The staggering 
news that President Kennedy had been 
assassinated, followed so quickly by 
the unexplainabhe, televised murder of 
his alleged assassin in the Dalla& city 
jail by a crony of the police, left Amer- 
icans reeling with bewilderment and 
shock. A wave of apprehension ran 
through the world with the news of the 
Kennedy assassination as people of all 
lands attempted to decipher the cause 
and portent of the tragic event. . . • 

"Before all others, it is the federal 
government's duty to block the attempt 
to use the Dallas tragedy for the stag- 
ing of an even more devastating witch- 
hunt. Before all others, it is the duty 
of the federal governmeni to furnish 
the people with a thorough-going an- 
alysis of the atmosphere of hate and 
violence which fostered that tragedy. 
Lefore all others, it is the federal gov- 
ernment's duty effectively and fully to 
enforce the civil liberties of Americans 
of all political views, no matter how 
critical of those now dominant, and the 
civil liberties of all Americans, regard- 
less of color. Only then can the cloud of 
violence and hate overhanging this 
country begin to be dispelled." 

The Editors 

"The Socialist Workers Party con- 
demns the brutal assassination of Pres- 
ident Kennedy as an inhuman, anti- 

social and criminal act. We extend our 
deepest sympathy to Mrs. Kennedy and 
the children in their personal grief . 

"The act springs from the atmosphere 
created by the inflammatory agitation 
and deeds of the racists and ultra- 
conservative forces. Political terrorism, 
like suppression of political freedom, 
violates the democratic rights of all 
Americans and can only strengthen 
the forces of reaction. Political differ- 
ences within our society must be set- 
tled in an orderly manner by majority 
decision after free and open public de- 
bate in which all points of view are 

— Farrell Dobbs, National Secretaryt 
Socialist Workers Party 

And Now, A Breath of Fresh Air! 


(Organ of the Socialist Labour 
League, the British Trotskyists.) 
Nov. 30, 1963— "This millionaire poli- 
tician was destroyed by the very con- 
tradictions which he thought he could 
overcome smoothly and peacefully. 

"Whether or not we ever learn the 
truth about the killings in Dallas, Tex- 
as, Kennedy's death was without doubt 
the result of angonising conflict within, 
the American ruling class. 

"On the issues of Negro integration 
and foreign and defense policy, Ken- 
nedy's programme, reflecting the needs 
of one section of US big business, 
aroused sharp hostility from powerful 
economic and political groups. 

"The role of the Texas state authori- 
ties makes this very clear. If Oswald 
was framed, and this seems quite prob- 
able, the job was organized at a high 
level in the st^te machine. . . . 

"We do not mourn John F. Kennedy. 

"As international socialists we see 
him as the world leader of the class 

"If he was far-sighted, it was in the 
interests of the continuation of capi- 
talist exploitation everywhere." 

— John Crawford 
Dec. 7, 1968 — "Marxists and the Ken- 
nedy Assassination" (Headline, page 

"The assassination of President Ken- 
nedy has given rise to a more than us- 
ual round of hysteria, tear-jerking and 
praise-mongering by the literary and 
political representatives of the middle 

"Reading some of the articles in the 
so-called socialist and liberal press 
about his life, one might be forgiven 
for thinking that Kennedy stood for 
the freedom of the Negro people and 
was, in fact, a socialist in all but name. 

"Thus do the hirelings of internation- 
al capital endeavor to whitewash the 
most reactionary imperialist power in 
the world in its hour of crisis. 

"Kennedy was, of course, a most able 
(Continued Next Page) 



. . . KENNEDY 

representative of his class. Eveiythin{? 
that he did had but one objective, to 
strengthen American imperialism. . . . 

"When he spoke about Negro rights, 
he was merely using high-sounding lib- 
eral phraseology so that he could all 
the better, on behalf of his class, con- 
tinue to enslave the Negro people. 

"Marxists express no sympathy what- 
soever over Kennedy's death. 

"We do not condone the act of indi- 
vidual terror responsible for his death, 
not because we are squeamish or hu- 
manitarian about how it was done, 
but because individual terror is no 
substitute for the construction of the 
revolutionary party. 


"Terrorism is a weapon which in 
fact disorganises and leaves the work- 
ing class leaderless. It creates the im- 
pression that the removal of prominent 
capitalist politicians and statesmen can 
solve the problems of the working class. 

"But for every tyrant shot, there is 
another ready to take his place. Only 
the overthrow of the capitalist system 
in the United States and its replace- 
ment by working-class power and so- 
cialism can solve the problems of the 
American working-class whites and 

"Such a task cannot be accomplished 
by terrorists like Lee Oswald. The an- 
swer lies not with them, but through 
the preparation and building of a rev- 
olutionary party which, through mass 
action, will take the power. . . . 

"The taking of power by the revolu- 
tionary party is not without terror. 
The ruling class will not hesitate to 
terrorise the working class, the Negro 
and colonial peoples. . . . 

"The sympathy of Marxists, while not 
agreeing with the method of Oswald, 
must be given to the millions of Os- 
walds, black and white, who have been 
driven into pauperism by capitalism. 
The task of the American Marxist 
movement is to direct its attention to- 
wards these people, and not towards 
the sending of messages of sympathy 
to Mrs. Kennedy. 


"When Lee Oswald fired the fatal 
shot, he did something more than as- 
sassinate a president. 

"He also destroyed utterly and com- 
pletely the lie that the Socialist Work- 
ers Party of the United States is a 
Trotskyist party and that it continues 
the traditions for which it was founded 
in the struggle to build the Fourth In- 

"The Militant, weekly organ of the 
SWP which, according tb its masthead, 
is 'published in the interests of the 

working people,' carried this news item 
in its issue of Monday,* Decemljer 2, 
headed 'Socialist Leader Denounces 
Murder of the President': 

(Here follows the statement of Fur- 
rell Dobba which is reprinted above.) 

"This nause.ating report repudiates 
every principle that Trotsky and the 
Bolshevik Party fought for. It is a 
report written by cowardly liberals, 
whose eyes are turned solely in the di- 
rection of the American middle class. 

" 'We extend,' says Fai-rell Dobbs, 
'our deepest sympathy to Mrs. Ken- 

"Indeed! And who is Mrs. Kennedy? 


"She is the daughter of a Wall Street 
millionaire, and was the wife of the 
leader of the most reactionary imperi- 
alist power on earth. Marxists can 
have no sympathy whatsoever with 
Mrs. Kennedy and her class. 

" 'Political differences within our so- 
ciety must be settled in an orderly 
manner,' says Dobbs. 

"Indeed! Tell that to the Negroes of 
Birmingham, Alabama, and the miners 
of Kentucky. Tell that to the millions 
of colonial people in struggle against 

"The settlement of class issues will 
not take place in an orderly manner, 
but in a violent way, because the ruling 
class will never give up its power 
peacefully. To the millions of working 
people in struggle against imperialism 
all over the world, Dobbs is just one 
more American liberal,- who talks the 
language of 'order' so as to mask the 
brutality of his own imperialist gov- 

"How Trotsky would have loathed this 
statement of the leader of the Socialist 
Workers Party. He would have flayed 
its author alive in every language he 
could muster. This is cringing boot- 
licking of the Ahierican petty-bour- 
geois by a man who claims to be a 


"Dobbs sends his condolences to 'Mrs. 
Kennedy and the children,' but not a 
word about Mrs. Oswald, a poor Rus- 
sian woman whose children and herself 
will be singled out for attack wherever 
she goes. 

"Instead of taking up the cudgels on 
behalf of the poor in the United States, 
Dobbs turns his eyes to to the represen- 
tatives of the rich and mighty. 

"There was, of course, a distinct 
possibility that anti-labour witch-hunt- 
ers would utilise the Kennedy assassin- 
ation in order to attack the left, but 
such an attack could not be answered 
by sending condolences to Mrs. Ken- 
nedy. The answer to any witch-hunt is 
to explain the class issues involved in 
the assassination, which can only be 

done by a thoroughgoing exposure of 
Kennedy's role. 


"Farrell Dobbs does not look to the 
working class as his only real ally in 
the fight against the witch-hunt. He 
looks in the opposite direction, towards 
the ruling class. On this, question, as 
on all others, Dobbs has betrayed the 
Marxist movement. . . , 

"His political degeneration is a 
warning to Marxists everywhere. It 
follows closely on the heels of the so- 
called 'reunification' with the Pablo- 
ites, who supported the brutal assassin- 
ation by the hired thugs of the FLN of 
the Algerian trade union leadei's in 
Paris in 1957 and 1958. 

"This unification was an alliance of 
renegades from Trotskyism to turn 
from the working class to the radical 
do-gooders whose sole aim is to white- 
wash imperialism. 

"We look forward to any news as -to 
whether or not James P. Cannon, 
founder of the American Trotskyist 
movement, was prepared to sign the 
message of condolence to Mrs. Ken- 

— Gerry Healy, National Secretary 
Socialist Labour League 

The acid test of any organization 
presenting itself as socialist taken 
■place in periods of revolutionary op- 
portiinity or crisis. All such organiza- 
tions were tested in their ability to 
maintain their principled positions at 
the time of the Kennedy assassination. 
To those for whom the concept of 
Trotskyism is synonymous with firm 
class positions under the most adverse 
conditions, the statement of Farrell 
Dobbs and the entire edition of the 
Militant on the Kennedy assassination 
came as a profound shock. At a calmer 
and more reflective moment, even the 
leaders of the Socialist Workers Party 
themselves must have been chagrined 
and surprised at their lack of stamina. 

It is, of course, true that it is a 
perfectly principled tactic to carefully 
avoid the use of provocative phrases 
when the legal organizational existence, 
and possibly the lives, of revolutionar- 
ies are at stake. However, the words of 
Dobbs and the Militant were not thoss 
of a revolutionary Socialist, but rather 
of Social Democrats and bourgeois lib- 
erals, and richly merited the attacks of 
Gerry Healy and the Socialist Labour 

The Revolutionary Tendency has re- 
peatedly pointed out the attempt to 
convert the SWP into an appendage of 
petty-bourgeois radical formations. Tho 
abandonment of the concept that tht 
ivorking class and its vanguard must 
lead the masses, evidently aud inevit' 
ably leads, at a moment of crisis, f 
the abandonment of the essence of oB 
rcvolittiounry working-clatK positions. 





MENT submitted to the 1963 SWP Convention by the 
Revolutionary Tendency.) 


1. For the past fifteen years the movement founded 
by Leon Trotsky has been rent by a profound theoreti- 
cal, political, and organizational crisis. The surface 
manifestation of this crisis has been the disappearance 
of the Fourth International as a meaningful structure. 
The movement has consequently been reduced to a 
large number of grouplets, nominally arrayed into 
three tendencies: the "International Committee," "In- 
ternational Secretariat (Pablo)," and "International 
Secretariat (Posadas)." Superficial politicians hope to 
conjure the crisis away through an organizational for- 
mula — "unity" of all those grouplets willing to unite 
around a common-denominator program. Thiis pro- 
posal obscures, and indeed aggravates, the fundamental 
political and theoretical causes of the crisis. 

2. The emergence of Pabloite revi;sionism pointed 
to the underlying root of the crisis of our movement: 
abandonment of a working-class revolutionary perspec- 
tive. Under the influence of the relative stabilization of 
capitalism in the industrial states of the West and of 
the partial success of petit-bourgeois movements in 
overthrowing imperialist rule in some of the backv/ard 
countries, the revisionist tendency within the Trotsky- 
ist movement developed an orientation away from the 
proletariat and toward the petit-bourgeois leaderships. 
The conversion of Trotskyism into, a left satellite of 
the existing labor and colonial-revolutionary leader- 
ships, combined with a classically centrist verbal ortho- 
doxy, was typified by Pablo — hut by no means was 
confined to him or his organizational faction. On the 
contrary, the Cuban and Algerian revolutions have con- 
stituted acid tests proving that the centrist tendency is 
also prevalent among certain groups which originally 
opposed the Pablo faction. 

3. There is an obvious and forceful logic in the 
proposals for early reunification of the centrist groups 
within the Trotskyist movement. But "reunification" 
on the basis of centrist politics cannot signify re- 
establishment of the Fourth International. The strug- 
gle for the Fourth International is the struggle for 
a program Embodying the working-class revolutionary 
perspective of Marxism. It is true that the basic doc- 
trines of the movement, as abstractly formulated, have 
not been formally denied. But by their abandonment of 
a revolutionary perspective the revisionists concretely 
challenge the programmatic bases of our movement. 

4. The essence of the debate within the Trotskyist 
movement is the question of the perspective of the pro- 
letariat and its revolutionary vanguard elements toward 

the existing petit-bourgeois leaderships of the labor 
movement, the deformed workers states, and the colon- 
ial revolution. The heart of the revolutionary perspec- 
tive of Marxism is in the struggle for the independence, 
of the workers as a class from all non-proletarian 
forces; the guiding political issue and theoretical cri- 
terion is workers' democracy, of which the supreme ex- 
pression is workers' power. This applies to all countries 
where the proletariat has become capable of carrying 
on independent politics — only the forms in which the 
issue is posed vary from country to country. These 
forms, of course, determine the practical intervention 
of the Marxists. 


5. The recovery and prolonged prosperity of Euro- 
pean capitalism Has not, as revisionists of all stripes 
contend, produced a conservatized workers* movement. 
In reality, the strength, cohesion, cultural level, and 
potential combativity of the European proletariat are 
higher today than ever before. The defeat of DeGaulle 
by the French miners and the persistent, currently 
accelerating, electoral swing to the Left in the bour- 
geois-democratic countries of Europe (most notably 
Italy, Great Britain, Germany) illustrate this fact. 

6. The European workers' attempts to go beyond 
partial economic struggles to the socialist transforma- 
tion of society have been frustrated by the resistance 
and treason of the labor bureauct-acy. The four years 
of reaction in France followiiig the seizure: of power 
by DeGaulle show the terrible price still exacted for 
tolerance of these misleaders. The Belgian general 
strike showed once again that "leftist" bureaucrats 
like Renard would also do all in their power to block 
or divert a movement capable of threatening capitalist 
rule. But the experiences of both France and Belgium 
prove a spontaneous desire of the workers to engage in 
struggle against the capitalist class— rising on occa- 
sion to an open confrontation with the system. 

7. The task of the Trotskyists in the European 
workers' movement is the construction within the exist- 
ing mass organizations (unions and, in, certain in- 
stances, parties) of an alternative leadership. Marxists 
must at all times retain and exercise political and 
programmatic independence within the context of the 
organizational form involved. Support to tendencies 
within the labor bureaucracy, to the extent that they 
defend essential interests of the working class or reflect 
class-strugutlie desires within the labor movement, is 
correct And even obligatory; but this 8upi;K>rt is always 
only conditional and critieal. When, as is inevitable, the 
class struggle reaches the stage at which the "leftist" 

(Centinaed Next Page) 



. . . REBIRTH 

bureaucrats play a reactionary role, the Marxists must 
oppose them immediately and openly. The behavior of 
the centrist tendency around the Belgian journal La 
Gauche in withdrawing during the general strike the 
correct slogan of a march on Brussels, in order to avoid 
a break with Renard, is the opposite of a Marxist atti- 
tude toward the labor bureaucracy. 

8. The objective prospects for development of 'the 
Trotskyist movement in Europe are extremely bright. 
Large numbers of the best young militants in all coun- 
tries, rejecting the cynical and careerist routinism of 
the Stalinist and Social-Democratic bureaucrats, are 
earnestly searching for a socialist perspective. They 
can be won to a movement capable of convincing them, 
practically and theoretically, that it offers such a per- 
spective. The structural changes stemming from Euro- 
pean integration pose the issues of workers' democracy 
and of the independence of the political and economic 
organs of the working class as the alternative to state 
control of the labor movement — and impel the working 
class into increasingly significant class battles. If, 
under these objective conditions, the West European 
Trotskyists fail to grow at a rapid rate it will be 
because they themselves have adopted the revisionist 
stance of a satellite of the labor leadership as opposed 
to a perspective of struggle around the program of 
of workers' democracy. 



9. Since the Second World War, the countries of 
Eastern Europe have been developing into modern in- 
dustrial states. As the proletariat of the deformed 
workers' states increases in numbers and raises its 
living standards and cultural level, so grows the irre- 
pressible conflict between the working class and the 
totalitarian Stalinist bureaucracy. Despite the defeat 
of the Hungarian workers' revolution, the Soviet-bloc 
proletariat has won significant reforms, substantially 
widening its latitude of thought and action. These re- 
forms, however, do not signify a "process of reform" or 
"destalinization process" : they were yielded only grudg- 
ingly by the unreformable bureaucracy, are under per- 
petual attack by the faction of "Stalin's heirs," and 
remain in jeopardy as long as Stalinist bureaucratic 
rule prevails. These concessions are historically sig- 
nificant only to the extent that they help the proletariat 
to prepare for the overthrow of the bureaucracy. Real 
destalinization can be accomplished only by the political 

10. A new revolutionary leadership is emerging 
among the proletarian youth of the Soviet bloc. In- 
spired by twin \sources — the inextinguishable Leninist 
tradition and the direct and tangible needs of their 
class — the new generation is formulating and imple- 
menting in struggle the program of workers' democ- 
racy. Notable in this regard is the point made recently 
by a long-time participant in Soviet student life. Re- 
garding the fundamental character to much of the 
widespread opposition among Russian youth, it was 

stated, "Because he is a Marxist-Leninist, the Soviet 
student is much more radically dissatisfied than if he 
were an Anglo-Saxon pragmatist." (David Burg to 
The New York Times.) The Trotskyists, lineal con- 
tinuers of the earlier stage, have an indispensable con- 
tribution to make to this struggle: the concept of the 
international party and of a transitional program re- 
quired to carry through the political revolution. Assist- 
ance to the development of a revolutionary leadership 
in the Soviet bloc through personal and ideological con- 
tact is a primary practical activity for any internation- 
al leadership worthy of the name. 


11. The programmatic significance of workers' de- 
mocracy is greatest in the backward, formerly colonial, 
areas of the world: it is precisely in this sector that 
the program of workers' democracy provides the clear- 
est possible line of demarcation between revolutionary 
and revisionist tendencies. In all of these countries the 
struggle for bourgeois democratic rights (freedom of 
speech, right to organize and strike, free elections) is 
of great importance to the working class because it 
lays the basis for the advanced struggle for proletarian 
democracy and workers' power (workers' control of 
production, state power based on workers' and peas- 
ants' councils). 

12. The theory of the Permanent Revolution, 
which is basic to our movement, declares that in the 
modern world the bourgeois-democratic revolution can- 
not be completed except through the victory and ex- 
tension of the proletarian revolution — the consumma- 
tion of workers' democracy. The experience of all the 
colonial countries has vindicated this theory and laid 
bare the manifest inner contradictions which continue 
ally unsettle the present state of the colonial revolution 
against imperialism. Precisely in those states where 
the bourgeois aims of national independence and land 
reform have been most fully achieved, the democratic 
political rights of the workers and peasants have not 
been realized, whatever the social gains. Tlfis is par- 
ticularly true of those countries where the colonial 
revolution led to the establishment of deformed work- 
ers' states: China, North Vietnam . . . and Cuba. The 
balance, to date, has been a thwarted success, either 
essentially empty, as in the neo-colonies of the African 
model, or profoundly deformed and limited, as in the 
Chinese example. This present outcome is a consequence 
of the predominance of specific class forces within the 

In Defense of a Revolutionary Perspective 

— A Statement of Basic Position by the Revolutionary 
Tendency. Presented to the June 1962 plenary meeting 
of the SWP National Committee. 

25 pages mimeographed — 25^ a copy 

order from: SPARTACIST 

Box 1377, G.P.O., New York, N. Y. 10001 



colonial upheavals, and of the class-related forms em- 
ployed in the struggles. These forms imposed upon the 
struggle have been, for all their variety, exclusively 
"from above," i.e., parliamentary ranging through the 
bureaucratic-military. And the class forces involved 
have been, of course, bourgeois or petit-bourgeois. A 
class counterposition is developed out of the complex 
of antagonisms resulting from failure to fulfill the 
bourgeois-democratic revolution. The petit-bourgeois 
leaderships with their bureaucratic forms and empiri- 
cist methods are ranged against participation by the 
workers as a class in the struggle. The involvement of 
the working class is necessarily centered on winning 
workers' democracy and requires the leadership of the 
revolutionary proletarian vanguard with its program- 
matic consciousness of historic mission. As the working 
class gains ascendancy in the struggle and takes in tow 
the more oppressed strata of the petit-bourgeoisie, the 
Permanent Revolution will be driven forward. 

13. "^he Cuban Revolution has exposed the vast 
inroads of revisionism upon our movement. On the 
pretext of defense of the Cuban Revolution, in itself 
an obligation for our movement, full unconditional and 
uncritical support has been given to the Castro govern- 
ment and leadership, despite its petit-bourgeois nature 
and bureaucratic behavior. Yet the record of the re- 
gime's opposition to the democratic rights of the Cuban 
workers and peasants is clear: bureaucratic ouster of 
the democratically-elected leaders of the labor move- 
ment and their replacement by Stalinist hacks; sup- 
pression of the Trotskyist press; proclamation of the 
single-party system; and much else. This record stands 
side by side with enormous initial social and economic 
accomplishments of the Cuban Revolution. Thus Trot- 
skyists are at once the most militant and unconditional 
defenders against imperialism of both the Cuban Rev- 
olution and of the deformed workers' state which has 
issued therefrom. But Trotskyists cannot give confi- 
dence and political support, however critical, to a gov- 
erning regime hostile to the most elementary principles 
and practices of workers' democracy, even if our tacti- 
cal approach is not as toward a hardened bureaucratic 

14. What is true of the revisionists' approach to- 
ward the Castro regime is even more apparent in regard 
to the Ben Bella regime now governing Algeria on the 
program of a "socialist" revolution in cooperation with 
French imperialism. The anti-working-class nature of 
this petit-bourgeois group has been made clear to all 
but the willfully blind by its forcible seizure of control 
over the labor movement and its suppression of all 
opposition parties. Even widespread nationalization 
and development of management committees seen in 
the context of the political expropriation of the working 
class and the economic orientation towards collabora- 
tion with France cannot give Algeria the character of 
a workers' state, but leaves it, on the contrary, a back- 
ward capitalist society with a high degree of statifica- 
tion. As revolutionaries our intervention in both revo- 

, lutions, as in every existing state, must be in accord- 
i ance with the position of Trotsky • "We are not a gov- 
' ernment party ; we are the party of irreconcilable oppo- 
sition" (In Defense of Marxism). This can cease to 
apply only in relation to a government genuinely based 
on workers' democracy. 

.15. Experience since the Second World War has 
demonstrated that peasant-based guerilla warfare under 
petit-bourgeois leadership can in itself lead to nothing 
more than an anti-working-class bureaucratic regime. 
The creation of such regimes has come about under the 
conditions of decay of imperialism, the demoralization 
and disorientation caused by Stalinist betrayals, and 
the absence of revolutionary Marxist leadership of the 
working class. Colonial revolution can have an unequiv- 
ocally progressive significance only under such leader- 
ship of the revolutionary proletariat. For Trotskyists 
to incorporate into their strategy revisionism on the 
proletarian leadership in the revolution is a profound 
negation of Marxism-Leninism no matter what pious 
wish may be concurrently expressed for "building rev- 
olutionary Marxist parties in colonial countries." Marx- 
ists must resolutely oppose any adventurist acceptance 
of the peasant-guerilla road to socialism — historically 
akin to the Social Revolutionary program on tactics 
that Lenin fought. This alternative would be a suicidal' 
course for the socialist goals of the movement, and 
perhaps physically for the adventurers. 

16. In all backward countries where the proletariat 
exists as a class, the fundamental principle of Trotsky- 
ism is the independence of the working class, its unions, 
and its parties, in intransigent opposition to imperial- 
ism, to any national liberal bourgeoisie, and to petit- 
bourgeois governments and parties of all sorts, includ- 
ing those professing "socialism" and even "Marxism- 
Leninism." Only in this way can the ground be laid 
for working-class hegemony in the revolutionary alli- 
ance with the oppressed petit-bourgeois strata, partic- 
ularly the peasantry. Similarly, for a working-class 
party in an advanced country to violate class solidarity 
with the workers of a backward country by politically 
endorsing a petit-bourgeois colonial-revolutionary gov- 
ernment is a sure sign of centrist opportunism, just as 
refusal to defend a colonial revolution because of the 
non-proletarian character of its leadership is a sign 
of sectarianism or worse. 

(Continued Next Page) 


Comprehensive 1961 resolution of the Socialist Labour 
League, endorsed by the International Committee of 
the Fourth International. 

sections : 

The Necessity of Socialist Revolution 
The Crisis of Leadership 
Imperialism and World Revolution 

. — the Present Stage 
The Colonial Revolution 
The USSR Since the 20th Congress 
The Fourth International 

price — 35^ 

order from: SPARTACIST 

Box 1377, G.P.O., New York, N. Y. 10001 

14 — 


. . . REBIRTH 

17. The inter-relktionship between bourgeois- 
democratic and proletarian-democratic struggles in the 
colonial revolution remains as formulated in the found- 
ing program of the Fourth International, a formulation 
which today retains complete validity: 

"It is impossible merely to reject the democratic 
program; it is imperative that in the struggle the 
masses outgrow it. The slogan for a National (or 
Constituent) Assembly preserves its fall force for 
such countries as China or India. This slogan must 
be indissolubly tied up with the problem of nation- 
al liberation and agrarian reform. As a primary 
step, the workers must be armed with this demo- 
cratic program. Only they will be able to summon 
and unite the farmers. On the basis of the revolu- 
tionary democratic program, it is necessary to 
oppose the workers to the "national" bourgeoisie. 
Then, at a certain stage in the mobilization of 
the masses under the slogans of revolutionary de- 
mocracy, Soviets can and should arise. Their his- 
torical role in each given period, particularly their 
relation to the National Assembly, will be deter- 
mined by the political level of the proletariat, the 
bond between them and the peasantry, and the 
character of the proletarian party policies. Sooner 
or later, the Soviets should overthrow bourgeois 
democracy. Only they are capable of bringing the 
democratic revolution to a conclusion and likewise 
opening an era of socialist revolution. 

"The relative weight of the individual democratic 
and transitional demands in the proletariat's strug- 
gle, their mutual ties and their order of presenta- 
tion, is determined by the peculiarities and specific 
conditions of each backward country and to a con- 
siderable extent by the degree of its backwardness. 
Nevertheless, the general trend of revolutionary 
development in all backward, countries can be de- 
termined by the formula of the permanent revolu- 
tion in the sense definitely imparted to it by the 
three revolutions in Russia (1905, February 1917, 
October 1917)." (The Death Agony of Capitalism 
and the Tasks of the Fourth International.) 



18. The task of the international revolutionary- 
Marxist movement today is to re-establish its own real 
existence. To speak of the "conquest of the masses" 
as a general guideline internationally is a qualitative 
overstatement. The tasks before most Trotskyist sec- 
tions and groups today flow from the need for political 
clarification in the struggle against revisionism, in 
the context of a level of work of a generally propagan- 
distic and preparatory nature. An indispensable part of 
our preparation is the development and strengthening 
of rbots within the broader working-class movement 
without which the Trotskyists would be condemned to 
sterile isolation or to political degeneration in the pe- 
riods of rising class struggle and in either case unable 
to go forward in our historic task of leading the work- 
ing class to power. Above all what can and must be 

done is the building of a world party firmly based on 
strong national sections, the assembling of a cadre of 
working-class militants won and tested in the process 
of the class struggle and on the firm basis of the rev- 
olutionary perspective of the Fourth International, the 
program to realize workers' democracy — culminating 
in workers' power. A fundamental statement expanding 
on this perspective, its opposition to Pabloism, and 
its relevance in the United States is contained in the 
Minority's "In Defense of a Revolutionary Perspective" 
(in SWP Discussion Bulletin Vol. 23, No. 4, July 1962). 

19. "Reunification" of the Trotskyist movement 
on the centrist basis of Pabloism in any of its variants 
would be a step away from, not toward, the genuine 
rebirth of the Fourth International. If, however, the 
majority of the presently existing Trotskyist groups 
insists on going through with such "reunification," the 
revolutionary tendency of the world movement should 
not turn its back on these cadres. On the contrary: it 
would be vitally necessary to go through this experience 
with them. The revolutionary tendency would enter a 
"reunified" movement as a minority faction, with a 
perspective of winning a majority to the program of 
workers' democracy. The Fourth International will not 
be reborn through adaptation to Pabloite revisionism: 
only by political and theoretical struggle against all 
forms of centrism can the world party of socialist 
revolution finally be established. 

June 14,1963 

Announcing a new magazine to serve fhe 
world Marxist movement: 


Organ of the International Committee of the Fourth 
International and superseding Labour Review of the 
British Socialist Labour League. 

"The new journal will carry articles on the workers' 
struggle in all parts of the world and eventually it will 
be published in several languages. We ask all Labour 
Review supporters in every country to send us in- 
creased orders, to contribute material, and above all 
to use the journal as a weapon for the construction of 
revolutionary Marxist parties all over the world. 

—The Editors." 

For additional information, write: 
186A Clapham High Street 
London S.W. 4, Great Britain 


. . . CASTRO 

(Continued from Page 16) 

potential. Tactical considerations must 
be seen as a part of and subordinate 
to strategic ones. Flowing from the 
empiricism of the Cuban leadership the 
strategic aim (if it ever existed) of 
world proletarian revolution has been 
sacrificed to the narrow, short-sighted, 
"pragmatic" goal of stable prices for 
Cuban sugar. If it is still objected that 
Castro had no choice, then we, at least, 
do not have to apologize for his actions 
in Moscow. Castro indeed had no 
choice: he was the prisoner not only of 
his own policies, but also of his his- 
torical origin which was the basis for 
those policies. Suffice it to say that if 
our movement had come to power in 
Cuba it would have been out of a quite 
different historical situation. We criti 
cize the Castro leadership as a part ot 
the process of building the Bolshevik 
leadership that will be an integral part 
of such a situation. The historical game 
of changing places with various lead- 
ers is not one that Marxists engage in. 
Soviet economic blackmail techniques 
are, of course, well known to the peo- 
ple of Albania and China, and it is to 
Castro's credit thkt he held out as long 
as he did. 

The vacillation of the Castro leader, 
ship between the positions put forward 
by the Soviet and Chinese bureaucra- 
cies, and its adherence, more or less, to 
the line of the latter, has permitted 
many socialists to indulge in certain 
illusions as to the nature of the Cuban 
leadership — illusions which that leader- 
ship has itself begun to dispel. 

Moreover, these same socialists are 
harboring an even more fundamental 
illusion in their belief that a proletari- 
an-revolutionary outlook motivates the 
superficially revolutionary Chinese po- 
sition. As long as the Maoist leadership 
speaks with a revolutionary vocabulary, 
many socialists are inclined to take it 
at its word. Nevertheless, it is clear 
from the whole history of the Chinese 
revolution that the attempt to build a 
following around the CCP line is only 
for the purpose of putting pressure on 
imperialism in order to force the latter 
to accommodate itself to the present 
Chinese state government. 

The rightward shift of the Castro 
leadership has now posed the question 
of MaiTtist theory and its relation to 
practice before all those who consider 
themselves to be revolutionary commu- 
nists. If the revolutionary workers' 
movement is to go forward it will have 
to come to grips with this and other 
questions, and arrive at a solution 
based on the independent action of the 
working class. 

The Cuban leadership, while respond- 
ing to the pressure of the masses, yet 
stands above and is organizationally 

independent of them. This organiza- 
tional independence is a consequence of 
its historical origin, in which it came 
to power as the leadership, not of work- 
ers' and peasants' Soviets, but of a 
guerilla army. From this social basis 
flows the empirical and not Marxist na- 
ture of the Cuban leadership, as was 
stated clearly by "Che" Guevara: "In 
order to know where Cuba is going, the 
best thing is to ask the government of 
the U.S. just how far it intends to go." 

If many socialists who supported the 
Castro government as opposed to the 
counter-revolutionary Khrushchev re- 
gime did not see the need for a dialecti- 
cal view of society, trusting instead to 
the "natural" course of events, their 
idealistic impressionis;n has at least 
been dealt a rude blow by the empiri- 
cal wanderings of the Castro leader- 

The strategy of Marxists in the 
epoch of imperialist decay flows from 
our comprehension of the total and all- 
sided development of the international 
class struggle, and thus from the needs 
of the international proletariat. This 
view, which grasps the interdepend- 
ence and interrelatedness of all phen- 
omena, has nothing in common with the 
empiricism of not only the Cuban lead- 
ership, but also, unfortunately, many 
communists as well. 

The Cuban leaders have reacted em- 
pirically to all the pressures, not only 
of the, U.S. imperialists, but of the 
Soviet bureaucrats as well, and have 
not only failed to carry out the essen- 
tial tasks facing the revolutionary 
workers' movement, but have not even 
comprehended what these tasks are. 
And they have failed to comprehend 
these tasks precisely because of their 
incapacity, flowing from their social 
origins as a bourgeois democratic peas- 
ant movement, to think any other 
way except empirically. Empiricism, 
the ideology of the bourgeoisie after 
it has established its power, is neces- 
sarily the method of all tendencies 
which do not base themselves on the 
strategy of world proletarian revolu- 

Even the most elementary bourgeois 
democratic reforms cannot be main- 
tained in the backward countries ex- 
cept under the dictatorship pf the pro- 
letariat. To depend on oth^r, similar 

movements leading revolutions as far- 
reaching in their social transformations 
as the Cuban revolution has been is to 
let the initiative pass over 'into the 
hands of imperialism. It was only the 
incapacity of American Imperialism to 
accommodate itself to a radical petty- 
bourgeois revolution that forced the 
Castro regime to go as far as it did — 
farther, indeed, than anyone in the 
July 26 movement had planned. The 
European imperialists have so far been 
more astute than their American con- 
freres. The former have more correctly 
gauged the tide of the nationalist move- 
ment and have jnelded much of their 
political and some of their economic 
power in Africa and Asia precisely to 
avoid what happened in Cuba. They 
permit the "socialist" Ben Bellas and 
Nkrumahs to rant against the impe- 
rialists; the latter would rather lose 
face than face the loss of areas for in- 
vestment, even if such investment faces 
certain restrictions. 

The justifiably tremendous tide of 
enthusiasm for the Cuban revolution 
has overflowed into the kind of uncriti- 
cal adulation of the Castro leadership 
that is entirely unacceptable to Marx- 
ists. The causes of this are, however, 
clear: the smallness of the American 
communist movement; the relative qui- 
escence of the American working class; 
and the success of a radical petty- 
bourgeois revolution that has defied 
American imperialism and stirred the 
imaginations not only of the oppress- 
ed colonial workers and peasants, but 
of Americans radicals as well. In the 
face of the tremendous tasks that face 
so few. revolutionary communists in this 
country, some of us have looked else- 
where and have become worshipers of 
the accomplished fact — Fidel Castro 
and Mao Tse Tung, not to mention 
Jimmy HofiFa and Malcolm X. Those of 
us who do not harbor any illusions 
about these leaders are attacked as sec- 
tarians. However, our analysis, in the 
case of Castro, has been dramatically 
confirmed. It is necessary to face the 
truth unflinchingly, purge oursdves of 
all easy romantic notions, and get down 
to the critical task of building a Marx- 
ist party in this country. A party based 
on illusions will never lead the working 
class to power. 






by P. Jen 

Premier Fidel Castro, caught in the 
complex web of Washington-Peking- 
Moscow relationships, has begun to be- 
come more clearly enmeshed in the 
machinations of the Russian leadership. 
Statements made in both Castro's So- 
viet TV interview of January 21, and 
the Joint Soviet-Cuban Communique of 
January 22 reveal unmistakably that 
Khrushchev has begun to consolidate 
his grip on the PURS (the Cuban par- 
ty) and its leader. Although there will 
undoubtedly be further vacillations, 
Castro has, without question, begun to 
trail behind the Soviet Union in foreign 

Castro, appearing on Moscow TV 
January 21, said, "At the same time 
[after the October missile crisis] there 
was a relaxation of international ten- 
sion, a relaxation in the cold war. All 
this was a result of the policy and the 
efforts of the Soviet Union and the so- 
cialist camp on behalf of peace." 
(Emphasis added.) 

One of the "concrete" results of 
those efforts was, in the Joint Soviet- 
j Cuban Communique of January 22, 
greeted favorably by the Cuban gov- 
ernment: "The government of the Re- 
public of Cuba regards the successes 
achieved by the Soviet Union in the 
struggle for the discontinuation of nu- 
clear tests and the agreement on non- 
orbiting of vehicles with nuclear weap- 
ons as a step forward promoting peace 
and disarmament." 

Giving further support to the poli- 
cies 'of the Soviet bureaucracy : "(Com- 
rade Fidel Castro expressed his ap- 
proval of the measures taken by the 
Central Committee of the CPSU to 
eliminate the existing differences and 
to consolidate cohesion and unity in the 
ranks of the ihtemational communist 
movement." (Joint Soviet-Cuban Com- 

It is clear from this that in the con- 
text of the Sino-Soviet dispute Castro 
has unequivocally joined "the leaders 
of the CPSU," who, in the words of 
the Chinese "are the greatest of all re- 
visionists as well as the greatest of all 
sectarians and splitters known to his- 
tory." (Printed Feb. 4 in Jenmin Jih 
Pao, the Chinese CP daily paper.) 

Not only Soviet policy, but Soviet 
political life in general, and the leader 
of the CPSU in particular, have re- 
ceived the approval of Fidel Castro. "I 
am very much interested in Soviet ex- 

perience," Castro said on Soviet TV 
Jan. 21. "I am very interested in the 
role played by your Party, the role of 
the advanced detachment, the role of 
organizer and inspirer of all the activ- 
ity in the Soviet Union. I am interested 
in the participation of the Party on 
all labour ffonts — in agriculture, in in- 
dustry, in cultural activities, in all 
spheres of production, in all spheres of 
politics, and in the army. My attention 
is attracted by the wonderful role 
which the Party has been playing in 
the Soviet Union for nearly half a 
century now." 

For the last three — almost four — 
decades, however, "the wonderful role 
which the Party has been playing in 
the Soviet Union" has included Stalin's 
frame-up trials ; the decapitation of the 
Red Army on the eve of World War II; 
the betrayals of the proletarian revolu- 
tion in China (1925-27), Germany 
(1929-33), France (1934-36; 1945-pre8- 
ent), Italy (1944-present), Iraq (1958), 
etc.; and the present strategic outlook 
of capitulation to imperialism. 

"We have been able to appreciate," 
said Castro on Moscow TV, "the way 
in which the Party [CPSU] has trained 
specialists, has fostered the revolution- 
ary way of thought in the people, train- 
ed astronauts, scientists, has produced 
the cadres who are today developing 
the economy and the entire lif^ in the 
Soviet Union, has produced the cadres 
who are now building communism. The 
Party is a symbol of revolutionary 
continuity and the people's confidence 
in themselves." (Emphasis added.) 


Castro's evaluation of Nikita Ser- 
geyevich Khrushchev, the leader of this 
so-called "Communist" Party which is 
building "communism" in a single 
country, is full of warmth and admir- 
ation. "I have full right to evaluate 
and admire this man, who combines in 
one person so many splendid qualities: 
intellect, excellent character, kindness 
and strength — the qualities which 
make him a great leader. And the more 
I know Comrade Nikita Sergeyevich, 
the more time I spend with him, the 
more warmer grow my feelings for 
him, the more I admire him, the high- 
er is my opinion of him as a man." 
(Castro on Moscow TV, Jan. 21.) 

Fidel Castro's words supply their 
own commentary. Those jwho want- the 
full text of his interview on Moscow 
TV, as well as the Joint Communique, 
can find these in the supplement in the 
Moscow News, January 25, 1964. 

For socialists who saw in Castro's 
militant stand a revolutionary commu- 
nist leadership or some reasonable fac- 
simile thereof, the recent swing to the 
right must come as a surprise and even 
a shock. Castro's perceptible yielding 
to Soviet ecortomic pressure, while per- 
haps mistakenly understandable from 
one point of view (that of building the 
national economy), is inexcusable from 
another (that of the international pro- 
letarian revolution), and in fact stra- 
tegically defeats the former. It is only 
on the basis of the proletarian revolu- 
tion in the advanced countries that the 
Cuban economy can develop to its full 
(Continued on Page 15) 









(Please PRINT Plainly) 


Send fo SPARTACIST. Box 1377, G.P.O. 
New York, N. Y. 10001 




The struggle in New York City is especially signifi- 
cant for several reasons. A low wage, high cost town, 
New York manifests in an acute form many of the 
social ills affecting decaying capitalist societies. It 
includes some of the largest, most oppressed, and highly 
charged racial ghettos in the United States. Much of 
the leadership of the national civil rights movement is 
to be found here, and its lessons for political radicals 
are sharpened by the fact that all radical tendencies 
have their centers here. Therefore, although much has 
been happening also in Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago, and 
San Francisco, New York developments are worthy of 
special consideration. 

Hate Campaign 
Over the past few months New York has witnessed 
an unprecedented campaign of press terror against the 
Negro people. All-out mobilization of middle-class white 
opinion against the rapidly developing Negro freedom 
movement began with the second school boycott and 
increased in tempo through the period of the threat- 
ened stall-in. A second, even more vicious stage in the 
anti-Negro campaign was initiated by the appearance 
of a lengthy front page article in the New York Times 
claiming the existence of a Black-Muslim directed 
dope-selling, karate-trained gang of 400 "Blood Broth- 
ers," whose main activity was the maiming and killing 
of whites. Thereafter isolated incidents of violence in- 
volving Negroes were given front-page shock treatment 
day in and day out in such a manner as to deliberately 
create the, impression of uncontrollable terrorism by 
rampaging Negroes against whites, while incidents of 
violence by whites against Negroes were played down 
and their racial aspects denied. At all times the subtle 
and not so subtle equation of Negro violence and civil 
rights militancy was made. 

That this incitement of racist hysteria was not in the 
least accidental but represented on the contrary the 
carrying out of a high-level decision by those who rule 
this society is evidenced by the fact that at all points 

^the campaign was initiated and led not by representa- 
tives of the gutter press like the Daily News and Jour- 
nal-American but by what is considered the most 

■ authoritative voice of the bourgeoisie in the country, 
the New York Times. This press terror campaign has 
as its purpose the psychological preparation and justi- 
fication for the smashing, through police terror, of the 
coming stage of the Negro rights struggle. The new 
"Stop-and-Frisk" and "No-Knock" laws and pi-oposed 

dreds of CCNY students, after hooting Mississippi 
racist, Ross Barnett, marched through Harlem to 
join militants in sit-down against dangerous traffic. 

further restrictions on the right to bear arms are addi- 
tional evidences of this intent. 

Mass Action 
The necessity for the bourgeoisie to prepare such 
drastic steps to halt the struggle has arisen from the 
beginning of the mass entry of the Negroes of the 
northern ghettos' into the fight for jobs, decent housing, 
and adequate schools. This began last year around con- 
struction sites in Brooklyn, Harlem, and Philadelphia 
in the fight for jobs for qualified Negro workers ex- 
(Continued on Page 3) 



—published bimonthly by supporters of the Revolutionary 
Tendency expelled from the Soclsilst Worktfr< Party. 

EDITOR: James Robertson 
West Coast EDITOR: Geoffrey White 

Subscription: 50^ yearly. Bundle rates for 10 or more copies. 
AAain address: Box 1377, G.P.O., New York, N. Y. 10001. Tele- 
phone: UN 6-3093. Western address: P.O. Box 852, Berkeley, Calif. 
94701. Telephone: TH 8-7369. 

Opinions expressed in signed articles do not necessarily repre- 
sent an editorial viewpoint. 

Number 2 x.523 Joly-Aog. 1964 


Some Responses to Our First Issue; 

Austin, Texas 

I have been concerned with the bureaucratic and re- 
visionist tendencies of the SWP for some time. In 
particular, my main concerns are the positions of the 
SWP on black nationalism, Cuba and Algeria. I do 
not consider the Muslims a progressive movement since 
racism is profoundly reactionai'y and serves to divide 
the working class; this essential reactionary role of 
racism is the same whether this racism is spread by 
Bull Conner or by Muslims. As Marxists, we must see 
the Negro Liberation Movement as part of the larger 
class struggle. Thus, it is essential that the Civil Rights 
movement be broadened to the poverty stricken and 
unemployed to create a working class movement of 
sufficient weight to transform society. Black national- 
ism is inimical to this end. 

Cuba, it seems to me, is exhibiting symptoms of 
Stalinist bureaucratic decay. Spartacist correctly dif- 
ferentiates between a revolutionary movement based on 
the industrial proletariat and one based on the peas- 
antry of an underdeveloped country. Keeping this dis- 
tinction in mind, one must be careful in using the 
proper terms to refer to the Cuban revolution. I don't 
consider Cuba a worker's state since the Cuba revolu- 
tion was not a revolution of the proletariat in which a 
revolutionary program was consciously held by the 
proletariat. The Cuban revolution was essentially a 
bourgeois anti-imperialist movement which was forced 
to submit to Stalinist control because of the reactionary 
pressure of. the United States. I consider it of the ut- 
most Importance that the Spartacist print a com- 
plete analysis of the Cuban revolution. We must have 
faultlessly documented accounts of the bureaucratic 
degeneration of the Cuban revolution. This will be of 
utmost value to members of the SWP and to revolu- 
tionists in Latin America. 

I want to salute the Spartacist for upholding the 
highest traditions of Marxism. You have the courage 
to maintain your revolutionary program even at the 


cost of expulsion from the party. I have no doubt that 
history will vindicate the correctness of your views 
sinoe you are doing no more than restating the historic 
program of Lenin and Leon Trotsky. The history of 
Marxism is a collection of great debates and polemics; 
this doctrine was forged in white-hot debate. When 
the SWP attempts to destroy debate through manipu- 
lations of the party apparatus, it destroys the essence 
of Marxism. 

I am enclosing $1.00 for a subscription to Sparta- 
cist since I believe your publication will play a vitlil 
role in the rebirth of American Trotskyism. 



New York, N.Y. 

. . . The first number of the "Spartacist" was siich a 
dreary, neurotic, ultra-sectarian, paranoid and unreadr 
able thing that I was almost glad such dreary people 
had been thrown out of the party. . . . 

Comradely regards, 


New York, N.Y. 

"Spartacist" should be welcomed by all of us who 
desire to see the rebirth of a Trotskyist movement in 
this country. 

For many years the SWP has been consistently 
shrinking into petty-bourgeois reformism and away 
from the basic class struggle. . . . This has now reached 
the point where the banner of Marxism-Leninism is 
torn down and replaced by one of jingoistic, petty- 
bourgeois "Black Nationalism." Any similarity between 
the SWP and a socialist organization is purely acci- 
dental — and I am sure in due course will be "corrected" 
by the gentle folk of 116 University Place. . . . 

Today, it seems to me, the only bright spot on the 
Left is the Progressive Labor Movement. ... I would 
urge you to give careful consideration to both the 
strength and weakness of PLM and to examine possible 
avenues of cooperation. 

At the same time I would urge you to re-examine 
your position in regard to Cuba. The struggle within 
the movement there is real and it would be highly 
sectarian to feel it has been concluded in favor of 
Khrushchev & Co. because international pressures and 
the question <rf survival force certain public state- 
ments. The basic tenet of Comrade Castro's remarks 
is far from that of K. ! Let uS avoid the sectarian idiocy 
Marcy displayed in the early stages of the Cuban Rev- 
olution, the hero worship displayed by the SWP and 
the dangerous ultra-leftist conclusions of the P.O.C. 
The science of Marxism-Leninism can not abandon care- 
ful study of the facts to snap judgments. 

For the Rebirth of American Trotskyism! Against 
All Revisionists! 

Fraternally yours, 

New York, N.Y. 

I saw "Spartacist" and it opened my eyes. I'm too 
much committed to get out and join you, but believe 
me there are more than a few of us inside supporters. 
You may be interested to learn . . . 

The Insider 


— 3 


(Continoed from Page 1) 
duded by job-trust attitudes and racial bias in the trade 
unions, and then spread to the struergle against slum- 
lords and their bank and big-business associates. In 
the process thousands of tenants formed tenants coun- 
cils, withheld rents, and won services and repairs from 
some reluctant landlords. It was with the struggle for 
integrated schools, however, and the involvement of 
almost the entire Negro and Puerto Rican people, that 
the ruling class drew the line. 

School Boycott 

The New York school boycott of February 3 clearly 
demonstrated the militancy and power of the Negro 
masses ana their readiness to fight for total school inte- 
gration. To this determined action by hundreds of 
thousands of the most oppressed, New York authorities 
had the arrogance to respond with mere token offers 
(20 out of more than 300 schools to be desegregated!). 
A icond boycott was called, and the anti-Negro hate 
c paign was on. 

Under tremendous pressures from white capitalist 
enemies and middle-class "friends," the respectable 
Negro and Puerto Rican leaders found flimsy and trans- 
parent excuses to withdraw their support. Playing a 
paramount role in the sell-out were the reformists of 
the Socialist Party-Social Democratic Federation and 
Young People's Socialist League. Through positions 
they hold in the national office and certain chapters of 
CORE — a key organization — ^they not only refused to 
support the boycott but did all in their power to sabo- 
tage it, just as they later did over the stall-in. The part 
played in the civil rights movement by the SP-SDF and 
YPSL, as they prove over and over again their fever- 
ish eagerness to act as self-appointed agents of capital- 
ism in the working class movement, is perhaps best 
exemplified by the role of that sinister figure, Bayard 

Y^t despite betrayals and sell-outs the Negro masses 
showed their support of the boycott by pulling out 90 
per cent of the children in ghetto-area schools, and 
boycotts in other northern cities facing similar oppo- 
sition were also successful. 

White Backlash 

It is at that point where the great masses of Negro 
people enter the fight for a fundamental change in 

. . . LETTERS 

New Haven, Conn. 
Although I am not a member of any organized po- 
litical party, I would like to take this opportunity to 
lend my encouragement and moral support to your 
present battle with the forces of degeneracy — centrism 
and revisionism — within what I consider to be th« fore- 
most Revolutionary party in the U.S. today. 
Keep up the good work. I remain, sincerely. 

Yours for the Revolution, 

their basic conditions of life that our capitalist rulers 
discard the Dr. Jekyll mask of bourgeois democracy 
and expose the naked racist and class bias of Mr. Hyde. 
Decisive sections of the ruling class are now agreed 
that the overhead for maintaining formal segregation 
is too high. They are therefore willing to permit the 
gradual abolition of legal segi-egation and provide 
avenues of upward social mobility for a tiny minority 
of the black race. But it is an entirely different matter 
for stagnating American capitalism to accede to the 
struggle for real equality or to provide jobS for all, 
black or white. The contracting market for labor and 
the ever-increasing squeeze on the rate of profit — that 
motor force of a capitalist economy — make reforms on 
the scale necessary to meet the needs of the Negro 
masses impossible, while in fact the economic aspects 
of continued racial discrimination in this counry act 
as an internal prop to the rate of profit. Thus the Negro 
struggle as it develops a mass character poses a direct 
threat to the capitalist system itself and to all those 
deriving special benefits from it. This is the explana- 
tion for the white backlash which has affected so many 
of the white liberal "friends" of the Negro people, and 
why the bourgeois state now prepares to fight openly 
in the streets through its police arm against the re- 
surgence of the struggle. 


The bourgeoisie had to make a show-down out of the 
April stall-in at the Worlds Fair — that smug monument 
they built to .their own technological hypertrophy and 
poisonously decadent kitsch-culture. The frightened 
ruling class brought heavy weapons into play. They 
used thousands of their police, tow trucks, new laws 
with heavy penalties passed in one day, their mass 
media, their official Negro leaders, and finally, their 
President of the United States. But while circumstances 
prevented our rulers from physically smashing the 
demonstration as they so greatly desired and planned, 
nevertheless the failure of the stall-in had in itself 
serious consequences, which we are now experiencing, 
on the development of the movement. 

Tying up the country's largest city in a massive dem- 
onstration of the organized power of the oppressed in 
the struggle for their rights is a powerful tactic. It 
>VaS the action itself that our rulers so desperately 
feared in this case, not the cutting of one day's Fair 
receipts or attendance as was done. The successful 
completion of the action, denoting strength, direction, 
and determination, would have won the Negro move- 
ment new allies (as it began to do when the 10,000-man 
sanitation workers' union refused the scab role of re- 
moving stalled vehicles) and would have set a prece- 
dent for other aggrieved sections of our class society. 

Unspoken Defeat 

Unfortunately, however, the leaders of Brooklyn 
CORE and the other supporting chapters (all those, 
and only those, with large Negro membership) saw the 
stall-in not as a demonstration of the organized power 



of the Negro masses but as an anarchistic and indiv- 
idualistic tactic not different in type from the seven- 
man tie-up of the Triborough Bridge earlier in the 
year. No provision was made for the mass participa- 
tion of the non-car owning Negro working people, who 
nevertheless supported the stall-in from a distance. 
Equally important, the leadership refused to organize 
even those who were able to participate — thus assuring 
the miscarriage of the project. The stall-in leaders, 
despite all their militancy and good intentions, because 
of thefr petty-bourgeois class nature and lack of pro- 
gram, were unable to recognize that the basic strength 
of the Negro masses, as of the working class as a whole, 
lies in their numbers and organization as against the 
economic and political power of the ruling class. 

The failure of the stall-in, and lack of any analysis 
or even admission of the failure within the movement, 
is reflected in the "caving-in" of the militants and the 
present lack of activity. The betrayers of the movement 
have been able to inflict crippling penalties upon the 
former rebels (not the least being the curtailment of 
chapter autonomy at the just concluded CORE national 

Safe activities like northern voter registration, "pres- 
sure" on the conventions of the two capitalist parties, 
campaigns for Medicare, and the like, have been ac- 
cepted as a substitute for militant mass action during 
this summer period which was supposed to have been 
"hot" for our rulers. The ruling class on the other 
hand has been emboldened in taking repressive action 
against the rights movement. Symbolically, all demon- 
strations at the Fair, including the silent picketing 
which had been previously assured, have been banned. 
Arnold Goldwag of Brooklyn CORE, a leading pro- 
ponent of the stall-in, received a 13-month jail sentence 
for probation violation, thereby establishing a prece- 
dent whereby any demonstrator can be given a heavy 
suspended sentence to inhibit him from further action 
in fear of a long jail term — yet the badly shaken "rebel" 
CORE chapters did not even mount a protest despite 
the threat this poses to their own future. The spectre 
of a witchhunt within the movement has raised its 
ugly head. 

y = V 


Defend: Arnold Goldwag 
and Civil Rights Militants 

Support: Brooklyn Civil Rights 
Defense Committee 

G.P.O. Box 1496 Brooklyn, N. Y. 11201 
^ /• 

Crisis of Leadership 

This past period has been a time of testing for all 
leaders and would-be leaders of the Negro struggle. 

The established spokesmen — the Whitney Youngs, 
Roy Wilkinses and James Farmers — have been caught 
in the increasingly sharp contradiction between the 

necessity to dampen the struggle to appease their white 
liberal sponsors and preserve their political ties with 
the Democratic Party administration, and their in- 
creasing exposure as appeasers before the Negro mass- 
es. They continually make groveling appeals to the 
ruling class to come through with an occasional face- 
saving concession to prevent more militant forces from 
displacing them, but when the struggle reaches the 
point where it is embarrassing or threatening to the 
ruling class (as in the case of the second school boy- 
cott and the stall-in) these respectables do all in their 
power to call it off. But this they can no longer do. 
Messrs. Young, Wilkins, and Farmer are shortly sched- 
uled to learn that all their willingness to serve their 
masters will not save them once their ability to control 
their supposed followers, and thus their usefulness to 
the ruling class, has been lost. They will then be thrown 
on the scrap heap by these same masters in favor of 
new "leaders," 

New Leadership? 

What about those individuals who called the second 
boycott and the stall-in? The Socialist Workers Party, 
in the Militant, has hailed this grouping as "a bold 
new leadership" which would not be able to sell out in 
the old style, and sees in it "the dividing line in the 
civil rights struggle in this city." This viewpoint is 
both superficial and opportunistic. Actually this so- 
called "new leadership" is a motley collection, ranging 
from miliant leadership aspirants like Jessie Gray to 
old political demagogues like Adam Powell. Gray, by 
far the best of the lot, is an experienced and capable 
activist, who, however, like the well-intentioned Brook- 
lyn CORE rebels, lacks a sufficient program to carry 
the struggle through to its necessary conclusion. Galam- 
ison, on other other hand, already with one sell-out to 
live down in calling off mass picketing at the Down- 
state Medical Center construction site in Brooklyn, 
seems to be no more than an aspiring Farmer or King. 
Malcolm X, despite an excellent job of propagandizing 
for Negro self-defense, nevertheless seems to be more 
intent on building a personal cult'foUowing than in 
leading the Negro people in militant struggle. In any 
event, this coalition of CORE rebels with militant and 
militant-sounding individuals is more in the nature 
of a temporary alliance than any stable "new leader- 
ship." The so-called "new leaders" do differ from the 
old, however, in one respect: the new ones, at least, 
look to the ghettos for their support and therefore must 



The Revofutfonory Weekly 
Organize for Socialism! 

10^ a copy 
office at: 66 West 109 St., New York 25 



respond, within limits, to the increasing mass pres- 
sures or be very shortly discredited. 

Revolutionary Leadership 

Given that the demands of the movement have al- 
ready transcended mere upper-class integration which 
would leave the masses of the Negro people facing the 
same reality of high unemployment, concentration in 
low skilled and poor paying jobs, segregated slum hous- 
ing, and segregated, inadequate schools, and given the 
sharpening national and international contradictions of 
American capitalism, including chronic unemployment 
of four to five million, the stage is set for the develop- 
ment of a revolutionary leadership. The same forces 
which make this development necessary also make it 

A revolutionary leadership is a leadership that poses 
not only the winning of immediate concessions but 
which poses transitional demands and slogans which 
at each point tend to bring the Negro masses to the 
recognition in struggle that fundamental solutions to 
their problems are not possible within the framework 
of the capitalist system. 

Tenants Councils 
Such a leadership would strive to extend the organ- 
ization of the masses of Negro people and to deepen 
their involvement in struggle at all levels. The rent 
strike must he extended, not because it can provide 
the final solution to the problem of slum housing, but 
because it, with its concommitant tenants councils, 
offers the best method so far devised to organize the 
community — not only around housing, but, for example, 
to bring off school boycotts at will. With the present 
level of mass consciousness, only the lack of experienced 
organizers prevents virtually the whole of Harlem and 
the other New York ghettos from being organized into 
tenants councils right now. Moreover, block councils 
firmly based on building councils would offer a natural 
basis for the organization of self-defense. [This need 
has never been more urgent. As we go to press, rapid 
firing police shock troops flooding Harlem have pre- 
cipitated a violent clash with hundreds of incensed 
Negroes protesting the police killing of 15-year-old 
James Powell.] 

"30 for 40** 

Jobs for all at decent wages is the answer to breaking 
up the ghetto and thereby eliminating slum housing 
and inferior, segregated schools. But the capitalists are 
incapable of providing sufficient jobs for workers of 
either race. They seek to insure their continued rule 
by keeping black and white workers in conflict with 
each other over an ever-shrinking pool of jobs. A revo- 
lutionary leadership goes beyond trying to win a few 
jobs here or there by raising and fighting seriously for 
such demands as "30 for AO" (30 hours work for 40 
hours pay) which unite workers of both races in a 
struggle to increase the number of jobs. History shows 
that in such common struggle racial hatreds are laid 
aside. Such was the case in the 1930's during the strug- 
gle to organize the CIO or today in Appalachia. 

Class Politics 
The revolutionary leadership also seeks to educate 
the black workers about the real nature of the Demo- 

cratic Party of cold-war liberals, Southern racists, 
kept union leaders, and Uncle Toms in order to break 
up the system of two capitalist parties which perpetu- 
ates the status quo. Black workers are today in a van- 
guard position; they must not wait until the higher 
paid white workers in bureaucratized and conservative 
trade unions begin to move. Thus it is an entirely prac- 
tical aim today to place independent, anti-capitalist 
Representatives in Congress from the Black Ghettos. 
To succeed in such steps could be the specific break- 
through leading the entire working class to create a 
combative mass labor party. 


The struggle for the above program within the exist- 
ing civil rights movement will augment the polarization 
between the militants, who will be attracted by the 
program of struggle, and the conservatives who strive 
unceasingly to place ever more restrictive chains upon 
existing organizations. Out of this polarization can 
come the base for the formation of a revolutionary 
mass organization of the Negro people whose leading 
cadre will provide a link with the Revolutionary Party. 
Such a new organization would express simultaneously 
the special needs of the Negro struggle and its rela- 
tionship to broader struggles — ultimately for workers* 

The Negro masses are the most exploited section of 
the working class. It is they who can hold the key to 
the radicalization of the entire class. It is this part of 
the class which is in motion, determined to fight for 
a better life. To the extent that it adopts a revolution- 
ary outlook it becomes capable of leading the whole 
class to the seizure of power and the elimination of all 
inejjuality, exploitation, and racism. ■ 

/ % 

Coming in an Early Issue — 
A Marxist Appraisal of 
Black Nationalism 
as Ideology and Movement 

Fourth International 

A Journal of International Marxism 

Published by the International Committee 
of the Fourth International 

contents of first issue include: 
Editorials — Introducing "Fourth International"; 
On the Eve of the General Election 
The Future of the Fourth International 
by Cliff Slaughter 
Trends in Soviet Literature (1) by Jean Simon 
The Consequences of Peaceful Co-existence 
by Michel Varga 

35« a copy. Available from: SPARTACIST 

Box 1377, G.P.O., New York, N. Y. 10001 


On March 5 the New York branch 
of the Socialist Workers Party ex- 
pelled five additional members of the 
Revolutionary Tendency — Al Nelson, 
Price Chatham, Charlotte Michaels, 
Edith Olsen, and Harry Turner. As in 
the original expulsions of RT support- 
ers, the new ones were for ideas and 
attitudes, with not a single act charged. 

Once again the SWP has resorted to 
organizational purging to eliminate po- 
litical differences. The charges against 
the newly-expelled group centered on 
their vote at an internal membership 
meeting against the NYC organizer's 
report which characterized the "Rob- 
ertsonite Spartacist splitters" as "ene- 
mies of the party" and declared that 
any "expression of sympathy" for the 
expellees would be met with "drastic" 
action. The Majority's formal charges 
claimed that the statements made by 
the RT members in motivating their 
vote indicated "their intention to act as 
agents of an enemy opponent political 
group." The RT supporters had called 
for reinstatement of the RT leadership 
to the party and pointed out that the 
SWP Majority had only itself to blame 
if after having expelled comrades for 
their ideas these comrades gave public 
expression to their views. 

Rigged Trial 
The trial took place before an en- 
larged branch executive committee 
meeting composed exclusively of mem- 
bers of the majority faction. A loaded 
and prepared List of Questions were 
asked the defendants who were called 
in one at a time, each not knowing 
what had been asked of or answered 
by the preceding comrades, in an at- 
tempt at entrapment. Thus the RT sup- 
porters on trial were asked: ,"Do you 
condone the publication of the Sparta- 
cist and its attack on the party?" 
"Are you in political solidarity with 
the Spartacist group?" "Do you con- 
tinue to meet with the expelled peo- 
ple?" "Do you meet socially with 
them?" "What do you discuss?" "What 
about internal party politics?" That 
this procedure failed completely is 
shown by the fact that no acts of any 
kind were added to the specification of 
charges. The vote to expel at the next 
branch meeting was 44 to 19. 

PC Motion 

This new action against the Revolu- 
tionary Tendency in New York fol- 
lowed the party-wide publication of a 
Political Committee motion assailing 
a Letter to the National Committee by 
those expelled earlier. The PC con- 

demned as "hypocritical" the RT state- 
ment refusing to accept the expulsions, 
and called upon all party branches to 
"keep the Secretariat informed of the 
public activities conducted by the 
Robertsonite splitters and report any 
evidence of collaboration with them 
from within our ranks." By libeling 
those expelled against their will as 
"splitters" the party leadership obvi- 
ously hopes to obscure its responsibility 
for executing an ideological expulsion. 

United Secretariat 

The expelled leaders of the RT, hav- 
ing exhausted all presently available 
recourse within the American party, 
made an appeal on Feb. 23 to the new 
"United Secretariat of the 4th Interna- 
tional" for its intercession. The appeal 
pointed out that the expulsions were 
exclusively for holding dissident views 
and reaffirmed once again the discip- 
lined acceptance of the political line of 
the Majority by the RT in the past, 
and the readiness to do so in the future, 
while seeking in an orderly way to win 
other SWP members to its viewpoint. 
The SWP-supported United Secretari- 
at, an international group recently 
formed on a revisionist basis, had it- 
self adopted, in words, democratic- 
centralist organizational principles 
which, if implemented, would assure 
disciplined action side by side with 
internal democracy — including the 
right of organized tendencies to exist. 
The United Secretariat was asked to 
translate its words into deeds by acting 
to rectify the flagrant organizational 
abuse by its American co-thinkers. 


The reply of the United Secretariat 
again proved that solidarity between 
centrists takes precedence over Lenin- 
ist principle. The "Resolution on Rob- 
ertson Group" by the United Secre- 
tariat first justified the expulsions on 
the basis of political differences, e.g., 
"ultra-left sectarian line," "opposition 
to the reunification of the world Trot- 
skyist movement," "judgment of the 
Socialist Workers Party as a 'centrist' 
formation," "eventual split." The reso- 
lution then stated that our action in 
publishing a public organ was "in flag- 
rant violation of the principles and 
practices of democratic centralism 
which require a minority in a revolu- 
tionary socialist party to abide by ma- 
jority decision." But the publication of 
SPARTACIST came after the expul- 
sions. To call issuance of a public press 
by people after expulsion from a party 
a violation of the democratic central- 

ism of that party is nothing but double 
talk desired to cover up the bureau- 
cratic behavior of the SWP. The 
United Secretariat group, far from be- 
ing an all-inclusive reunification of the 
world .Trotskyist movement, is exposed 
by its resolution as a conglomeration 
of revisionists intent on outlawing the 
fundamental ideas of Trotskyism as ul- 
tra-left and sectarian. 

Not Yet the End 

At this writing the SWP leadership 
shows every sign of spreading the 
witch hunt throughout the party and 
into the Young Socialist Alliance, as 
the inevitable result of its rightward- 
moving course. 

* * * 

Since this article was completed, the 
Socialist Workers Party, Young Social- 
ist Alliance, and the United Secretari- 
at, operating on their common political 
basis, have scored the following "suc- 
cesses," large and small: 

— The Young Socialist Alliance on 
May 30 suspended three comrades from 
membership in New York for publicly 
supporting the work of the SPARTA- 

—The United Secretariat, meeting 
in Paris, suspended its most prominent 
member, Michel Pablo, and his leading 
supporters from all international bod- 
ies, thus signaling, a world split, with- 
out, however, any basic differences in 
revisionist method between the two 

— The United Secretariat announced 
on June 22 its expulsion of the major- 
ity leadership of its Ceylonese section, 
the LSSP, for that classic betrayal of 
the working class, entry into a capital- 
ist government. [Full information on 
this very serious development is pre- 
sented in the British Newsletter — 
address: 186A Clapham High Street, 
London S.W. 4.] 

—The SWP Political Committee on 
July 10 suspended the nine members 
of the Wohlforth group from all party 
rights. The Wohlforth tendency had 
demanded the reopening of discussion 
on the international question in view 
of the political complicity in the Cey- 
lonese crisis of the SWP and United 
Secretariat. ■ 

A discussion of the 'Tolitical 
Implications of the Oswald Af- 
fair" has been held over to the 
next issue for lack of space. 



. . . CUBA 

(Continued from Page 8) 
olutionary-Marxist political party and 
the total lack of democratic structures 
whereby the government would be re- 
sponsible to and controlled by the work- 
ers and peasants. For a considerable 
period these factors were overshadowed 
by the revolutionary actions of the 
Castro regime and its responsiveness 
to mass pressure. Nevertheless, the fact 
remained that the Cuban state and 
economy were in the hands of a sepa- 
rate administrative apparatus inde- 
pendent of the workers and peasants 
because not subject to election and re- 
call' by them. Even that most demo- 
cratic of institutions, the popular mili- 
tia, was deprived of the essential demo- 
cratic right to elect its own officers. 


9. Even in the period of revolution- 
ary upsurge there were strong tenden- 
cies towards the imposition of bureau- 
cratic structures upon the revolution. 
This was most clearly evident in the 
case of the Cuban Trade Unions whose 
democratically elected leadership, what- 
ever its vices, was composed of Fidelis- 
tas who had ousted the old pro-Batista 
bureaucrats in 1959. During 1960 this 
leadership was arbitrarily and undemo- 
cratically removed and replaced by a 
new leadership, largely Stalinist in 
origin, subservient to the government. 
Subsequently th^^structure of the union 
movement was revised to eliminate the 
autonomy of individual unions, placing 
centralized control in the hands of a 
small bureaucratic group. 

10. Since the April 17 invasion there 
has been a real intensification and ac- 
celeration of the trend toward bureau- 
cratization and authoritarianism. Most 
agrarian co-operatives, theoretically 
controlled by their peasant members, 
have been transformed into "People's 
Farms" under centralized state admin- 
istration. Tentative forms of workers 
control in industry, the "Technical Ad- 
visory Councils," have been allowed to 
lapse into inactivity. Government pol- 
icy, as represented by Che Guevara, is 
specifically opposed to workers' control 
and assigns to Cuban Trade Unions 
the exclusive role of increasing pro- 
duction, not defending the specific class 
interests of the workers. 

11. As the Cuban regime develops 
political structures these likewise tend 
to be Bureaucratic and authoritarian. 
After April 17, under cover of phrases 
about^ the "socialist revolution," a sin- 
gle-party system has been developed 
through the amalgamation of all re- 
maining political groups into the "In- 
tegrated Revolutionary Organization." 
The Stalinist apparatus of the former 
"Peoples Socialist Party" plays a ma- 
jor role in the ORI which was repre- 
sented at the recent "National Produc- 

tion Congress" by the veteran Stalinist 
leader Carlos Rafael Rodriguez. 

12. Far from guaranteeing freedom 
of speech to all tendencies supporting 
the revolution, the Cuban government 
since April 17 has begun major repres- 
sions. Most important has been the 
suppression of the Trotskyist paper 
"Voz Proletaria" and the book "Perma- 
nent Revolution" by Leon Trotsky. Po- 
litical censorship has been imposed on 
films, and the independent cultural 
publication "Lunes" forced out of ex- 
istence. The arbitrary arrests and long 
detentions without charges of North 
American revolutionary socialists strik- 
ingly indicate the existence of a well 
developed secret police apparatus free 
from legal or democratic restraints. 

Deformed Workers State 

13. Taken as a whole, the process go- 
ing on today in Cuba is that of the for- 
mation qf a deformed workers state — 
that is, the creation of a society like 
that which exists in the Soviet Union, 
Eastern Europe and China. By mini- 
mizing the influence of the working 
class in the revolution, by limiting the 
appeal of the revolution to workers in 
other lands, by tending to give power 
to an uncontrolled bureaucracy, and by 
subjecting the future of Cuba to the 
counterrevolutionary diplomacy of the 
Kremlin, this process raises the danger 
of capitalist restoration in Cuba. How- 
ever, this does not signify that in Cuba 
today the bureaucratic apparatus is as 
consolidated or dominant as in the 
countries of the Soviet Bloc. The demo- 
cratic mass mobilization and participa- 
tion in the revolution of the workers 
and peasants has been so powerful and 
far-reaching that at all levels signifi- 
cant resistance to the process of bu- 
reaucratization occurs. 

Workers Democracy 

14. The Cuban workers and peasants 
are today confronted with a twofold 
task: to defend their revolution from 
the attacks of the U.S. and native 
counterrevolutionaries, and to defeat 
and reverse the tendencies toward bu- 
reaucratic degeneration of the revolu- 
tion. To confront this task they cru- 
cially need the establishment of work- 
ers democracy. 

15. Workers democracy, for us, signi- 
fies that all state and administrative 
officials are elected by and responsible 
to the working people of city and coun- 
try through representative institutions 
of democratic rule. The best historical 
models for such institutions were the 
Soviets of the Russian Revolution of 
1917 and the Workers Councils of the 
Hungarian Revolution of 1956. The Cu- 
ban workers and peasants can, no 
doubt develop their own original vari- 
ants of these forms. There is only one 
essential attribute without which any 
democratic form is but pretense and 
mockery: there must be full freedom of 

organization and expression for all po- 
litical groups and tendencies that sup- 
port the revolution, without any con- 
cession to the Stalinist monolithism of 
the one-party system. 

Revolutionary Party 

16. The full victory of every modern 
revolution, the Cuban revolution in- 
cluded, requires the emergence in a lead- 
ing role of a mass revolutionary-Marx- 
ist party. The small Trotskyist groups, 
in Cuba and elsewhere, have a vital 
role as the nucleus of such parties. 
They can fill this role only if they con- 
tinually preserve their political inde- 
pendence and ability to act, and if they 
avoid the peril of yielding to non- 
Marxist and non-proletarian leader- 
ships their own ideological responsibili- 
ties and the historic mission of the 
working class. 

Defend the Revolution 

17. In its relation to the Cuban revo- 
lution the YSA, like every revolution- 
ary group, has two principal tasks: 

a) To exert the utmost effort to de- 
fend the Cuban revolution not only 
against the military and, other attacks 
of U.S. imperialism, but also against 
the political attacks of the social-dem- 
ocratic agents of imperialism. 

b) To struggle for the development 
and extension of the Cuban revolution 
and against the attempts of counter- 
revolutionary Stalinism to corrupt the 
revolution from within. We seek to 
further this development and extension 
both by supporting revolutionary ac- 
tions of the existing leadership and by 
constructively criticizing, openly and 
frankly, the mistakes and inadequacies 
of that leadership. Both to develop the 
Cuban revolution and to extend it 
throughout the Hemisphere, we base 
ourselves on the imperative necessity 
for the establishment of workers de- 
mocracy and the forn^ation of the mass 
party of revolutionary Marxism. 

— submitted to the YSA Convention 
December 21, 1961 ■ 

/ V 

now in production — 



#1 In Defense of a Revolutionary 
Perspective — a statement of 
basic position by the Revolu- 
tionary Tendency. 25(f a copy. 

#3 The Split in the Revolutionary 
Tendency — including correspon- 
dence with the Socialist Labour 
League. 30^ a copy. 

#5 For the Materialist Conception 
of the Negro Question — -reprint 
of R. Fraser's critique of Black 
Nationalism. 25<f a copy. 

ofder from: SPARTACIST 

Box 1377, G.P.O. 
New York, N. Y. 10001 

> r 




The following document, presented 
in 1961 to the Young Socialist Alliance 
by ow tendency, has since received im- 
pressive confirmation. 

The prognoses it sets forth^for ex- 
ample, the counterrevolutionary aims 
in Cuba of the Russian Stalinist bu- 
reaucracy — have met the test of later 
events: the missile crisis; the Moscow 
sugar deal (see SPARTACIST #1); 
and most recently Castro's offer to ar- 
rive at an understanding with Ameri- 
can imperialism. 

The resolution also states that 
"Taken as a whole, the process going 
on today in Cuba is that of the forma- 
tion of a deformed workers state — that 
is, the creation of a society like that 
which exists in the Soviet Union, East- 
ern Europe and China." It has been 
our opinion for more than a year that 
this process has reached a point of con- 
solidation such that Cuba has become a 

1. The Cuban revolution constitutes 
the highest point of revolutionary de- 
velopment hitherto attained in the 
Western Hemisphere; it is potentially 
the commencement of the American so- 
cialist revolution. Realization of this 
potential is possible only if the Cuban 
^evolution once more surges forward, 
internally and externally, to the estab- 
lishment of workers democracy in 
Cuba and the spread of the revolution 
to at least the decisive countries of 
Latin America. 

2. Despite enormous accomplish- 
ments, Cuba remains economically 
backwiiid and isolated in a Western 
Hemisphere under the domination of 
U.S. imperialism. This situation is the 
direct cause not only of the obstacles 
to the further progress of the Cuban 
revolution but also of powerful tenden- 
cies toward degeneration. 

Social Upheaval 

3. For the masses of Cuba the most 
significant economic achievement of the 
revolution has been a substantial in- 
crease in living standards. This has 
been accomplished through a radically 
egalitarian redistribution of income 
and wealth, and a reorientation of the 
pattern of inrfest'iient to give priority 
to the «^nsliuction of schools, homes, 
and cultural and recreational facilities. 
At the same time, a start has been 
made toward diversification of Cuban 
agriculture. The direct action of the 
working class in seizing industry and, 
in many cases, in exerting democratic 
control over this industry; the organi- 
zation of the peasantry into democrati- 
cally run cooperatives; the arming of 

the masses with the formation of the 
militias— all this, while it was not con- 
summated in the actual control over 
the state by the working class, did give 
th^ masses a very real weight in the 
political life of the country. This was 
an important acquisition of the Cuban 
masses and marked the Revolution as 
a profound social upheaval which 
brought the Cuban masses for the first 
time in history into partial control of 
their own destiny, 

4. The revolution has basically over- 
turned the previous Cuban property 
forms. The U.S. and Cuban owned lati- 
fundia have become the property either 
of the working peasantry or of the 
state. All U.S. owned industry has 
been confiscated and the properties of 
a considerable portion of the Cuban 
bourgeoisie have likewise been expro- 
priated. Since Cuba remains free from 
the burden of meaningful compensa- 
tion and indemnification payments, 
these measures can provide the struc- 
tural basis for a non-capitalist type of 
planned economy. 

5. The speed and depth of the prop- 
erty overturn has been essentially a 
response to the actions of U.S. impe- 
rialism. Although the Cuban revolution 
began with purely bourgeois-demo- 
cratic aims (agrarian reform, over- 
throw of the Batista dictatorship, na- 
tional independence) these could not be 
achieved without a fierce struggle 
against U.S. imperialism and its Cuban 
bourgeois retainers. The refusal of the 
Castro regime to back down before 
U.S. blackmail and economic aggres- 
sion led it to mobilize the Cuban masses 
and strike against the economic bases 
of imperialist and bourgeois rule. Its 
very survival compelled it to destroy 
the old army and police which had been 

the bulwark of the "democracy" of 
Grau and Prio as well as of the dictii- 
torships of Batista, and replace them 
with a new revolutionary army and a 
vast popular militia. 

U.S. Imperialism 

6. The main concern of U.S. imperi- 
alism in its vicious hostility to the Cu- 
ban revolution has been t^ safegruard 
U.S. economic positions througfaout 
Latin America. The U.S. has been held 
back from a military invasion of Cuba 
only by the probability that such action 
would spread the revolution instead of 
suppressing it, and the certainty that 
a U.S. attempt to occupy Cuba would 
be met by the Cuban people with re- 
sistance of the utmost ferocity. U.S. 
policy toward Cuba therefore has at- 
tempted to strangle and distort the Cu- 
ban economy through a combination of 
military and diplomatic pressure with 
naked economic aggression. 

7. The Cuban economy has been able 
to continue functioning under these 
blows only because the Soviet Union 
came to its aid by taking Cuban sugar 
in return for oil, munitions, and essen- 
tial industrial products. Far from be- 
ing altruistic, this action is entirely to 
the economic and political advantage 
of the counterrevolutionary Stalinist 
bureaucracy which rules in the Soviet 
Union and the other countries of the 
"Socialist Camp." It is aimed at bring- 
ing the Cuban revolution under control 
and using it to put pressure on the 
U.S. in order to gain more concessions 
in an eventual "peaceful co-existence" 

8. The political development of the 
Cuban revolution has throughout been 
marked by the absence of a sizable rev- 

(Continued on Page 7) 


— , 



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(Please PRINT Plainly) | 

Send fo SPARTACIST. Box 1377. G.P.O. | 

New York. N. Y. 10001 j 






Vote for DeBerry and Shaw 

In the current Presidential election militants, black and 
white, who are struggling against racial and economic oppression 
at home, and support the anti-imperialist struggles abroad, whether 
in Viet-Nam, the Congo or Cuba, can find no comfort in either 
bourgeois party. The immediate and pressing task is the construc- 
tion of a revolutionary instrument of struggle, which can wage an 
uncompromising battle in behalf of the exploited. The need for an 
Independent working-class party — whatever its form or composition 
may be in the coming period — can best be expressed in this election 
not by abstaining but by a vote for the Socialist Workers Party 
candidates: for President — Clifton DeEerry; for Vice-President — 
Edward Shaw; as well as for the various local campaigns of the SWP 
and the independent candidates of the Freedom Now Party, 

To further the SWP campaign SPARTACIST supporters have 
worked along with SWP members to get the SWP ticket on the ballot 
in New York State, have helped build » Students for DeBerry and 
Shaw' and supported meetings of the candidates themselves all 
across the country, and have urged support to the campaign upon 
such other groups as the Progressive Labor Movement and the Young 
Peoples Socialist League c But such activity is only part of the 
responsibility of revolutionists toward this campaign. The centrist 
nature of the SWP and, flowing from its naturfi^ some of the plat- 
form planks the SWP has advanced oblige the SPARTACIST to give its 
support a sharply critical political content. 

The Revisionism of the SWP 

The Socialist Workers Party purports to defend the principles 
of Marxism-Leninism, as developed by Leon Trotsky and the Fourth 
International to meet the new developments of world reaction and 
the degeneration of the Soviet Union after the failure of the 
European revolutions following World War I, Previous Issues of 
SPARTACIST have exposed how, over a whole sequence of crucial 
political issues, the SWP has departed from a revolutionary position 


and assumed the role of pressure group toward non-working class 
forces* In this article, we continue this analysis with respect 
to a central SWP campaign slogan, » Federal Troops to the South,' 

Every form of revisionism is a flieht from struggle « The 
revisionist party, as it has begun to lose faith in the capacity 
of the proletariat to emancipate itself, seeks, and eventually finds, 
allies in other classes, to whom it entrusts the role of historic 
leadership. Thus it is with the Socialist Workers Party« In the 
colonial revolutions they turn to petty-bourgeois leaderships at 
the head of peasant guerrilla bands. The Cuban experience, where 
such a development culminated in the elimination of imperialist 
control of the economy, serves as the excuse for neglecting the 
construction of proletarian parties in the backward and oppressed 
parts of the Earth, Without reserve the SWP lauded the FALN 
terrorists in Venezuela, and utter not a wor d of the tragic defeat 
of the Venezuelan movement, and of simlTar catastrophes in Latin 
America, And in Cuba itself, workers democracy and control are 
but a luxury in this view, and the arbitrary imprisonment of Cuban 
Trotskylsts goes unprotested by the SWP, while Castro's rightward 
turn, evidenced in his overtures to the U,S, in his recent interview 
with the NoY. Times , is camouflaged. 

Likewise in the United States the SWP abstains from the only 
current arena of struggle, the Negro struggle, on the pretext — a 
self-fulfilling prophecy— that the SWP is a 'white' party, and 
cannot presume to advise black militants. They see their task as 
placing their support behind attractive petty-bourgeois radicals 
like Malcolm X or, to a lesser extent, Jesse Gray or John Lewis of 
SNCC, creating hero-worshippers among their youth instead of critical 
Marxists with supreme confidence in the independent organizations 
of the working class, whether black or white. Dishonesty is implicit 
in this method. Hence, for example, the recent capitulation of 
Malcolm X to the orthodoxy of Mecca goes unmentioned in the Militant , 
which conceals and distorts to cover its empirical zig-zags. 

It is, however, when a once-revolutionary party adapts not 
to some charismatic faker but to the ruling bourgeoisie that the 
term revisionism is replaced by a harsher characterization — reformism. 
A foreshadowing of such a capitulation became manifest over the 
Kennedy assassination (see SPARTACIST No. l); the equivocal role of 
the SWP and its international co- thinkers toward the Ceylonese 
betrayal was another step. Still another piece of evidence is the 
SWP's opportunist demand that federal troops, and not the armed 
working class, solve the problem of segregation in the South. 


The slogan of 'Federal Troops to the South' has a long history 
In the SWP. It first became an issue late in 1955, when the slogan 
was raised in a lead editorial in the Militant entitled, "For Feder- 
al Intervention'. " A sharp reaction was provoked among 
stauncher elements in the party who correctly pointed out that 
bourgeois governments, in the era of imperialism and the permanent 
revolution, must not be called upon by the proletariat to carry out 


the democratic revolution against feudal or backward ruling sections. 
The southern police-state regimes rule with the consent and support 
of the liberal bourgeoisie » In the same way Marxists do not appeal 
to the imperialists to liberate the South African blacks from their 
racist exploiters because they know that the U»Sr government 
supports with arms these racists, and reaps great profit from their 
cooperation. On the contrary, Marxists emphasize the self- defense 
of the Negroes In the South, and look to them, ultimately in 
league with the white workers under a Bolshevik program, to accom- 
plish a real shattering of the racist system. North and South, 

The slogan was thus withdrawn and lay dormant until, with 
the Increasing tempo of struggle, the opportunism of the SWP had 
another chance to reveal Itselfo In the Interim the revisionist 
infection spread throughout the Majority leadership of the party. 

The SWP' s Appeal to President Kennedy 

The incidents In Birmingham in May 19^3 fetched up a new 
response from the SWP, Following the introductory heading 
"Socialist Workers Party to Kennedy," a banner headline in the 
Militant demanded, " Deputize, Arm Birmingham Negores for Self- 
t)efense Against Racists V" VJithln the party, only those in left 
opposition condemned this call as an act of faith In the Federal 
Government and its apparatus, exposed the slogan as a fraud and 
another evasion of the needed call to self-defense g Should the 
Federal Government Intervene at all — and the desirability of this 
was sharply questioned- -which Negroes would it deputize? Would It 
legalize an armed Negro workers militia In the South? To ask the 
question is to answer it — Nol This appeal was recognized as 
simply a cloaked reincarnation of the old troops slogan. 

Indeed, the SWP came close to raising the original Itself, 
when its National Committee editorialized, « Kennedy, e of Inally 
Invoked federal authority* But only as a threat — in the form of 
federal troops ^0 miles away^» The NC concluded with the demand: 
"The time for President Kennedy to act is Nowl'' (Militant, May 20, 
1963)3 But for what purpose might federal troops be used in 
Birmingham? The answer was a^lrea^^ brutally clear . Already In 
May the Negores of Birmlngham7''frustrated and infuriated by police 
prods and the imprisonment of thousands of young people in the 
cause of a few meaningless, token integration proposals by Martin 
Luther King — who does the bidding of the Attorney General in moments 
of crisis — resorted to violent self-defense against the bombs of 
their racist attackers. This was Kennedy's cue to bring federal 
troops to the areae But the SWP learned nothing. 

Only once in all this time — well after the struggle had 
subsided In Birmingham and when Negroes had already organized to 
combat racist terror — did the SWP screw up its courage and "after 
the murder of Medgar Evers clearly advocate armed self-defense for 
the Negroes, The troops slogan served as a cover for their loss 
of confidence in the black workers to take the lead in securing 
their own emancipation. Accordingly, the SWP gave them no guidance, 
but looked to another force to carry out the task — the American 

The party did not at that time put forth the troops slogan 
in its original form. Why not? Because revolutionary minorities, 
the conscience of the party, spoke up vigorously against this 
departure from Leninism as a recourse to the bourgeoisie. The 
revolutionary gadfly, however, was subsequently largely removed 
by a series of bureaucratic swats (see SPARTACIST Nos, 1 and 2). 

The SWP Reverts to the « Troops" Slogan 

This summer, however, at the murder of the three civil 
rights workers near Philadelphia, Mississippi, the SWP revived as 
a major propaganda slogan the call for federal troops to the South. 
In their revisionist consistency, which has a logic of its own, 
the SWP outdid even the reformist civil-rights organizations which 
generally confined their demands to federal protection for rights 
workers in the south: a non-revolutionary approach to be sure, 
but quite different from requesting a federal invasion in behalf 
of the oppressed Negro, But this is what it means to ask the 
bourgeois armed forces to liberate the South, 

Most recently, the troops slogan — in its most vulgar and 
ludicrous form — has appeared on a campaign sticker for Clifton 
DeBerry. The sticker reads: " 'WITHDRAW THE TROOPS PROM VIET NAM 
AND SEND THEM TO MISSISSIPPI,' says Clifton DeBerry, Socialist Work- 
ers Party candidate for President*" So the bourgeois imperialist 
army, currently engaged in massacring peasants and workers in South 
Viet-nam, in burning their villages and defoliating their land, and 
imprisoning the people in 'strategic hamlets' — this army, says the 
SWP, should be transferred to the American Southl To advocate 
sending the U.S. Special Forces into Mississippi is treachery to the 
Negro struggle. It is also an absurdity which no one has failed to 

There is an argument, tacit to be sure, which is raised 
in private by some conscience-stricken members of the SWP, It is 
that the SWP calls for troops in order to reveal the unconcern of 
the federal government for the civil rights cause. It need only 
be remarked that nowhere in its press has the SWP affirmed a 
conviction that the bourgeoisie will not in fact take real action 
in the South, and that, should it move militarily there. It would 
serve to block the Negro struggle. 

Johnson has been maneuvering behind the scenes with Southern 
businessmen to eliminate some of the most conspicuous sore-spots 
of Southern segregation. Business in the South is concerned at the 
high overhead, in police expenses and losses caused through mass 
unrest, which the apartheid has produced, and is prepsu?ed to make 
some token concessions. The subtle operations of the administration 
carefully shift the burden of 'desegregation' from the crucial 
sectors of the economy — the great industrial plants in the South — 
to the service areas, such as threaters and motels, so that the 
basic patterns of economic and residential segregation remain the 
same, while the added revenues from a few Negro patrons may be 
welcome to some proprietors. We do not need Qoldwater's slash at 
Johnson's civil rights record to realize that the Republicans will 


act In much the same way. Any analysis of the role of the federal 
government must Include the federal indictments of civil rights 
leaders In Albany, Georgia, and the record of over 200 unsolved 
bombings in the South« 

Toward a Revolutionary Party 

It is the task of militants to begin now the construction 
of an Independent political party of struggle which can be the 
instrument of social emancipation. In the concrete, this means no 
support for the capitalist parties. It means a vote now for the 
party which. If it cannot lead the masses toward a solution, at 
least poses the problem of Independent anti-imperialist sti'uggle. 
All forms of sectarian abstentionlsm must be vigorously opposed: 
in the hands of revolutionists this campaign is an excellent vehicle 
for bringing the idea of class politics into the Black ghettos and 
throughout the working class. Militants must take a position of 
critical support in the coming campaign for Clifton DeBerry and 
Edward Shaw of the Socialist Workers Party, for President and Vice- 
President of the United States. 

* * * 


SP Suspends N ational YPSL 

The Young Peoples Socialist League by a large majority at its 
Chicago Labor Day convention repudiated any support to the capitalist 
presidential candidates . The day after the convention the YPSL' s 
parent body, the Socialist Party-Social Democratic Federation, re- 
taliated by suspending the /?SL with the charge that Its new leader- 
ship does not » accept the ^ - .Ic principles of democratic socialism.' 

Given this definition of 'democratic' socialism. It is a matter 
of some pride to the SPARTACIST that one of the evidences the SP 
later advanced to support their charge was the seating at the YPSL 
convention of a Spartacist delegation as fraternal observers* The 
Spartacist was the only outside group, of those Invited, to respond by 
attending the convention where the Spartacists urged the following 
five points upon the convention delegates as a possible basis for 
Initiating a revolutionary regroupment: 

1. For defense of the Cuban Revolution against U.S. Imperialism, 

2. Against U.S. imperialism's war to crush the South Vlet-Nam 
Liberation Front; for military support to North Vlet-Nam against 
U.S. imperialism, 

3. Against federal troops to the South; for self-defense by the 
Negro People. 


4. For critical support to the SWP's DeBerry-Shaw electoral 

5. For YPSL disaffiliation from the SP-SDF. 

Revolutionar y Tendency Formed 

These five minimal points largely coincided with the views 
of the extreme left wing present which by the end of the convention 
had coalesced as an organized grouping, the Revolutionary Tendency, 
supported by five of some 40 delegates attending. One of the RT's 
principal stainds at the convention was their call for critical 
support to the DeBerry-Shaw ticket, a position which was voted down 
by a large convention majority* 

vn-jiat the Militant Didn» t Print 

Following an interview by Milita nt writer Barry Sheppard with 
a YPSL convention delegate, the Militant of 21 September printed 
the gist of the above story (only deleting all reference to the role 
of the Spartacist which, however, was mentioned in the National 
Guard ian story on the YPSL suspension) . But the Militant did not 
print any reference to something of great interest to its readers — 
a scathing attack upon the SWP» s capitulation over the Kennedy 
assassination, and by the historical] y reformist YPSL no less'. 
At the YPSL convention several of the most left-wing delegates had 
Introduced a draft resolution repudiating the outgoing YPSL leader- 
ship's own conduct at the time of the assassination. With only 
slight modification, the resolution was adopted by the national 
convention. The opening paragraph of the resolution dealt with 
the SWP; 

"The Kennedy assassination proved to be an acid test of 
all groups professing to be soc:' -'^"'*at. In the face of 
the public hysteria and the po* kki Ity of a witch-hunt 
which followed the assaesir*ati«.>i^'^a!l?; A groups abandoned 
their socialist politics for :C04^Mi?e liberalism. This 
nauseating reaction on the par ■ ae social-democrats 
and Stalinists was to be expect^*, the response of the 
Socialist Workers Party was more surprising, but merely 
underlined that organization's retreat from a revolution- 
ary posture. Our own National Action Committee put it- 
self into the same class as the SV/P, CP, and SP with its 
statement expressing 'grief ove the assassination and 
comm3.tting their organization to ' i*''mourn« for Kennedy*" 

SometM ng SI s^e the Militant Dldji' t Print 

While tUJ-itant writer Bariy Sheppard was publicly commiser- 
ating with the suspended YPSL over being subject to a party whose 
constitution provides for the expulsion of any member viho supports 
the candidates of the Socialist Workers Party, YSA National Chairaan 
Barry Sheppard was fresh from his own Labor Day YSA Plenum where 
he was reporter on the 'internal situation,' the high point of 


which was the expulsion of eight YSA members, most without any 
notice until afterthe fact. The basic motion presented by comrade 
Sheppard authorizing the expulsions and adopted by the plenum Is 
as follows: yMembe rshlp in,_sugpjDrt _to, or coll abora tion wit h 
the Sparta cist ^roup Is Incompatible with member'snlp In the YSA . » 

The YSA and SWP Majority have clearly met one more require- 
ment for entrance Into the camp of 'democratic* socialism. 

« * « 

(Statement to the Oct,15 Rally Against Fascism sponsored by ?WL, etc.) 

The nomination of an overt reactionary as the Republican 
candidate for President reveals that the contradictions of capital- 
ism pose serious problems for the American bourgeoisie even in the 
height of prosperity^ Goldwater is backed by precisely those sup- 
porters of the existing order who have benefited least from the 
rule of liberal capitalism. On the one hand, heavily capitalized 
industries, where the rate of profit is depressed; armament indus- 
tries; and enterprises with foreign holdings directly threatened 
by nationalization or already expropriated, have shoon Impatience 
with the Johnson administration and sympathy for the Senator from 
Arizona » Here the only difference from recent elections in the 
response of various sections of the bourgeoisie is that this time 
an unusually large section, especially of the finance capitalists, 
are themselves for continuing Johnson in office. On the other 
hand, Goldvjater relies upon votes from the frustrated and conserva- 
tive petty-entrepreneur and from fearful, vengeful, racist whites 
ranging from the poverty-ridden South to ' Parent and Taxpayer' 
elements in Brookl-jni and Queens. 

In the rising tempo of the Negro struggle and the Insecure 
stalemate which imperialism faces abroad, combined with the racist 
and chauvinist support which the Goldwater forces enjoy, have given 
rise to the mistaken Impression that the Goldwater campaign poses 
an immediate threat of fascism in the coming election. Those so- 
called socialists who make this error a pretext to abandon the 
struggle of the working class and Join the camp of the Johnson 
Imperialists, have cast their lot with the ultimate bearers of 
fascism; they become traitors to socialism and, in this thermo- 
nuclear era, to the very future of humanity. 

Fascism — Specific M enace or Catch-All Word ? 

Revolutionists who would fight effectively the motion to 
the right symbolized by Goldwater must understand that not every 
movement of bourgeois reaction constitutes fascism. We have seen 
over the Harlem riots how easily democratic rights wither in times 
of crisis. But to imagine that bourgeois democracy has perished 
and that fascist political revolution has occured or looms imminent 


is to lose all historic perspective ♦ At bottom those who confuse 
current reaction with fascism display a naive utopianism about 
bourgeois democracy as it reall y is. Thus, it rema ins urgent 
for all milit aj^ts to press a vi&cr pus and mass-'^sed legal defense 
campaign for "M'll Ip'tonT framed u£ for ' crTminaT a' narcTiy ^as a 
Bcapegoat' ^IH the 1^1 em police rl^ts , as we'll as for the duEa 
travel- ' ^nnoreaicing sfiudentsl 

The historic function of fascism is to smash the working 
class, destroy its organizations, and stifle political liberties 
when the capitalists find themselves unable to govern and dominate 
with the help of democratic machinery. When the fascist threat 
does become urgent it can only be smashed by the mobilization of 
the working class against the capitalist class and its state. In 
preparing today for that fight our immediate and pressing task is 
the construction of a revolutionary vanguard instrument of struggle, 
which can wage an uncompromising battle in behalf of the exploited. 
This is an arduous task, which can only be retarded by the con- 
fusion of fascism with conservative reaction, and doomsday prognos- 
tications concerning the Goldwater campaign. 

Vote Socialist Worker s I 

The need for an, independen t workinp; cla ss part y can best 
M expre ssed .in this election, not by a bstain ing, but "bj^ giving 
critical support to So cialist Worker£ Party candidate s : for Presi- 
dent—Clifton DeBerry; for Vice President— Edward Sliaw; for U.S. 
Senator— Richard Garza; as well as for the Freedom Now Party 

candidate for State Sena'^r'::^^uT^ou€'eTre, 

« « « 


The Progressive Labor Movement, in the Oct. 2? Challenge , has 
finally come out with an electoral statement and against the campaign 
of the only serious anti-capitalist party which is running candid- 
ates. Chal lenge exposes, in its own pecuBar way, the rottenness of 
the demand *tb send federal troops to the South. This is their only 
significant point of difference with the campaign platform of the 
SWP (which party the editorial manages to avoid mentioning by naune), 
and, as the lead article in this issue of SPARTACIST has shown, is 
not in itself a sufficient reason for opposing the SWP slate. 

Political Revolution in China 

A second point over which PLM challenges a standing position 
of the SWP is not contained in the election platform and is taken 
out of context and distorted. That is, PLM attacks the SWP el ection 
campaign because of the policy of the party which allegedly "Tl'ncludes 
overthi'owing the government of the Peoples' Republic of China,' This 
is a distortion of a position which the SWP once held but is in the 
process of abandoning: that the establishment of workers democracy 
can be brought about only through a political revolution by the 
working people. This position is today held by the SPARTACIST. The 
SWP, in its 1963 Resolution on China, stated that 'a program of 
struggle for workers democracy would run up against the resistence 


of the regime* It would be preferable If the resulting confronta- 
tion between the bureaucrats and the people could be resolved by 
mutual, agreement of the contending forces o' The SWP leadership, 
while discounting this as * the least likely of variants* not only 
admitted Its possibility, but specifically rejected the call for 
•political revolution* against » the ruling bureaucratic caste,* 

It would appear from reading the Challe nge editorial that 
the SWP Is for an Imperialist counter-revolutfon In China, whereas 
the SWP has always defended the Chinese Revolution. 

Use the SWP Campaign to Build Revolutionary Movement 

But most Important, PL opposes a vote for DeBerry and Shaw 
because » these candidates offer no solution' to the problems of the 
American workers© Does PL think that a better election platform, put 
forth In a parliamentary struggle, can solve the workers* problems? 
If so, then the details of one*s program are of paramount Importance. 
However, Marxists approach the election not from the point of view 
of winning parliamentary power and thereby solving the workers* prob- 
lems, but rather as a means of reaching the masses with the Idea of 
class politics, and as a weapon for organizing the workers In strug- 
gle. Parliamentary struggles are tactical , and are always subordin- 
ated to the need for building a vanguard~party of the proletariat 
that will be able to solve the problems of the class. 

The SWP campaign can serve this tactical purpose. The SWP 
Is an antl-lmperlallst, antl-capltallst party opposed to the cold 
war, for unemployment benefits at full wages for the full period of 
unemployment, for thirty hours work for forty hours pay, an end to 
Jim Crow, and recognition of and peaceful relations with Cuba and 
China, Moreover, It Is still by far the best working class party 
running candidates and therefore It Is not only Justifiable but 
necessary at this time to give It critical support « 

No Answer 

PL*s vague call for Independent political action In the com- 
ing Mayoralty election must be seen In the light of Its present 
concrete opposition to such action. That PL could have participated 
In this "campaign In order to prepare for the next perhaps did not 
occur to Its leading committee; or the failure to mention the SWP 
by name perhaps reveals a certain sectarian fear. Whatever the 
reason, the comrades In PL will have to approach the problems much 
more seriously If they are to acconpllsh what they set out to do. 
Most Immediately we urge the PL comrades to reconsider their 
position against the SWP election campaign. 

<(• ♦ * 

Enclosed Is: $1.00 for twelve Issues (two years ) /7 

$.50 for six Issues (one year) // oT the SPARTACIST. 

Name ^ ^ ^ 

StreeT " _ "~ ""J" ~ 

City"" _ "2"^ _ Zone" " " " "S'tate '"J~_ SSZ — 

reTurn"'t'o: S^AlOTdT;^ 
Box 1377, O.P.O., New York, N.Y. 10001 

<j|> 144 


Bureaucracy and Revolution in Moscow and Peking . . . page 8 




For months last spring and early summer the New 
York press pounded away, day in and day out, in an 
unprecedented campaign of press terror against the 
Negro people and the Negro freedom movement. 
Spartacist viewed this campaign as the deliberate and 
conscious preparation of white opinion to accept an 
all-out police attack on the developing struggle for 
Negro freedom. Over the preceding months this struggle 
had risen to new heights in the North with the entry 
of thousands — and even hundreds of thousands in the 
case of the school boycotts — of the (oppressed black 
people of the ghettos into militant actions to change 
the basic conditions of their lives : -jobs, housing, and 
schools. The future development of the movement along 
such lines of militant mass struggle was intolerable 
for those who rule this country, for at this juncture 
stagnating American capitalism, even in a temporary 
spurt of prosperity, cannot raise 10 per cent of the 
total population of the country to even that standard 
of living of the rest of the working class. On the con- 
trary, the ruling class faces the long-term necessity of 
cutting back the living standards of all workers. For 
this reason, any sustained mass struggle by the Negro 
people for fundamental reforms poses, at bottom, a 
threat to the capitalist system itself and must run 
headlong into the state apparatus. 

Spartacist Predicted 

On this basis Spartacist stated early in July . . the 
bourgeois state now prepares to fight openly in the 
streets through its> police' arm against the resurgence 
of the struggle." This prediction was strikingly con- 
firmed on July 18 and the days that followed as wave 
after wave of armed, specially trained elite police — 
the Tactical Patrol Force — swept through Harlem in- 
discriminately beating and terrorizing all who crossed 
their paths, when the mood of the ghetto made it clear 
that the killing of 15-year-old James Powell by an off- 
duty police oflScer would not go unprotested. 

Police Started It 

While the shooting of Powell itself was probably a, 
purely spontaneous trigger action on the part of a bru- 
tal racist cop, the following protest provided the oppor- 
tunity the city powers had been waiting for to provoke a 
(Continued on Page 4) 




[The author of this article was one of several sup- 
porters of the Spartacist ivho participated in the trip 
to Cuba last summer by eighty-four AmcricoM stu- 
dents, in defiance of a State Department ban on travel 
to Cuba. The group spent two months makiyig an ex- 
tensive tour of the country, investigating the Results 
of five years of the Cuban Revolution. During this time 
the author had lengthy interviews with Leon Ferrera, 
son of the imprisoned leader of the Cuban Trotskyists.] 

New repressive acts have been undertaken by the 
Cuban government against the Cuban Trotskyists. 
These moves represent a. qualitative change in the at- 
titude of the Cuban leadership towards this working- 
class political tendency that unconditionally supports 
the Revolution, but is critical of certain fundamental 
policies and positions of the' leadership. 

Five members of the Partido Obrero Revolucionario 
(POR), Cuban section of that wing of the Fourth 
International led by Juan Posadas, have been tried in 
secret and sentenced to prison with terms up to nine 
years. Among the five was the General Secretary and 
editor of their newspaper, Idalberto Ferrera. 

Andres Alfonso 

The arrests began in November, 1963, when Andres 
Alfonso, a mechanic at the Interprovincial Bus Repair 
Shop, was arbitrarily ordered arrested by the admin- 
istrator of the shop, Manuel .Yero, after distributing 
copies of Voz Proletaria among his fellow workers. 
(The Trotskyists' newspaper consisted of several mime- 
ographed pages, all they have been allowed to print 
since the seizure of their printing presses in May, 1961, 
and the smashing of the type of a Spanish edition of 
L. Trotsky's Permanent Revolution.) Comrade Andres 
(Continued on Page 12) 



—published bimonthly by lupporter* of th« Revolutionary 
Tendency expelled- from ^he Soclsliit Workeri Party. 

EDITOR: James Robertson 
West Coast EDITOR: Geoffrey White 

Subscription: 50^ yearly. Bundle rates for 10 or mce copies. 
AAain address: |ox 1377, G.P.O., New York, N. Y. 10001. Tele- 
phone: UN 6-3093. Western address: P.O. Box 552, Berkeley, Calif. 
94071. Telephone: TH 8-7369. Midwest address: P.O. Box 9295, 
Chicago, III. 60690. Telephone: 772-8817. 

Opinions expressed in signed articles do not necessarily repre- 
sent an editorial viewpoint. 

Number 3 "° Jan.-Feb. 1965 

YPSL Tendency Joins Spartacists; 

Over Thanksgiving iveekend the National Committee 
of the Socialist Party-Social Democratic Federation, 
meeting in Chicago, called upon the suspended national 
Young Peoples Socialist League to recognize its subor- 
dination to the SP as the condition for lifting the 
suspension. In response the YPSL National Executive 
CcMmittee voted to dissolve the YPSL organization. 
The following is a declaration by that tendency in 
YPSL which, over the past several years, has fought 
its way toward a revolutionary and internationalist 


^ Statement by the YPSL Revolutionary Tendency 

The dissolution of the youth group of the American 
social-democracy can only be welcomed by all those who 
desire to make a socialist revolution in this country. 
At the same time, this move by itself is far from 
enough — it is only the first step along the long and 
difficult path of rebuilding a revolutionary party; root- 
ing this party in the working class ; relating this party 
to the day-to-day struggles of the class; and leading 
the working class, through the medium of a transitional 
program, to the overthrow of capitalism and the con- 
struction of the socialist order. 

Where We Stand 

Those of us who were drawn to the socialist move- 
ment through participation in the Young Peoples Social- 
ist League have had to grapple with the numerous 
theoretical questions which face every serious socialist, 
questions which, while admitting of no easy answers, 
must be answered if we are to live and grow. In partic- 
ular we have had to face those questions which were 
posed in their sharpest expression by the October Revo- 
lution, around which the various currents within the 
socialist movement define themselves to this day. The 
most outstanding of these questions, as is only natural, 
are those which are identified with the names of the 
makers of that revolution. Lenin and Trotsky. Spe- 
cifically, ,we have considered and come to agree with 

Lenin's and Trotsky's conception of the nature and role 
of the revolutionary party, and with their conception 
of the strategy and tactics which that party must follow 
in order to be successful. This, above everything else, 
was the question which differentiated us from every 
other current within the YPSL, and is the basic con- 
sideration in determining the course which our tendency 
has decided to take upon the dissolution of the YPSL. 

Behind the YPSL Break-up 

In coming to this position, which we did not do 
lightly nor without a thorough asses-qment of the other 
alternatives, we have had to break with a number of 
attitudes and political positions which, until recently, 
bound the entire YPSL together. We refer, for instance, 
to a deepgoing nationalism, which expressed itself in 
a lack of concern for building an .international move- 
ment and a fear of domestic reaction which gave im- 
petus to semi-pacifist and, finally, outright pro-im- 
perialist politics; cynicism and skepticism about the 
possibility of making a revolution, and therefore skepti- 
cism about the necessity of ourselves — the revolution- 
ary Marxists — having any vital role to play in immedi- 
ate struggles, which led to a shameful deferment in 
the mass movements to the existing leaderships (which 
are now revealing themselves as increasingly reaction- 
ary and braking forces within those movements) ; a 
desire for respectability, which led us to try to build 
"revolutionary cadres" in a common political organiza- 
tion with Norman Thomas and Michael Harrington; 
and, finally, a corroding contempt for theory, which 
led us to pay lip-service to Marxism and purely literary 
homage to Lenin and Trotsky while ignoring the essen- 
tial class content of the politics of Marxism, Leninism, 
and Trotskyism. 

The resulting political structure, which did not even 
pretend to be a revolutionary organization, showed its 
instability even as a reformist organization, as do- 
mestic and international events rent apart not only the 
organization but even its internal factional groupings. 
"Only that which is constructed on intransigent revolu- 
tionary ideas neither crumbles nor falls into dust." In 
the course of the disintegration of the YPSL, however, 
one positive development emerged: many questions of 
strategy and tactics facing the revolutionary movement 
were discussed, and anyone who was seriously inter- 
ested in developing revolutionary politics had the op- 
portunity to consider and realch a conclusion about 
them. We have tried to do this, and have developed the 
following positions. 

Our Positions 

The colonial revolution, even in its Stalinist mani- 
festations, must be defended against imperialism, re- 
gardless of the consequences to the revolutionists carry- 
ing out this task within the imperialist countries. 

The Shachtman analysis of the role of the Stalinist 
parties, at least in the advanced capitalist countries, 
has proven to be false, and Trotsky's conception cor- 
rect: these parties are essentially working-class parties, 
with petty-bourgeois leaderships, seeking reconciliation 
with capitalism. 

Both the perspective of pressuring the labor bu- 
reaucracies and the liberals, in America, to form a 
"liberal-Labor party," and the position of rejecting any 
intermediate and transitional demand and calling only 


for a "revolutionary party," are incorrect. Until the 
revolutionary party ia large enough to be a practical 
alternative to the bourgeois parties, we call upon the 
workers to "form their own party which can take power 
and solve the problems facing the working class," and 
participate in those intermediate expressions of this 
movement, giving critical support to other socialist 
parties and such anti-capitalist formations as the Free- 
dom Now Party. 

We do not fear, and as Trotskyists seek to enter into, 
united actions with other radical groups, even if these 
groups lack respectability in American liberal circles. 

We raise the demand of organized, armed self-de- 
fense by Negroes against racist violence, and call for 
the formation of block councils in the urban ghettos 
which can give protests a mass character. 

Finally, we seek the unity of all genuinely anti- 
capitalist and anti-Stalinist radicals into a single revo- 
lutionary party, agreeing with Trotsky that the dif- 
ferences over the "Russian Question," as important as 
these are, should be no bar to organizational unity. 

We Join the Spartacist Group 
With the dissolution of the YPSL we faced the 
choice of joining the Spartacist group, with which we 
are in substantial programmatic agreement, or of re- 
maining with the comrades of the American Socialist 
Organizing Committee, seeking to win them over to 
our views. After serious and extended consideration we 
have decided to join the Spartacists, in spite of differ- 
ences on the nature of the Soviet Union, and function 
as a loyal and disciplined part of the Spartacist organ- 
ization. We hope that the comrades of the ASOC, as 
they deal with the problems that we have raised, prob- 
lems which will inevitably arise within their gi-oup 
as they seek to apply themselves to the task of rebuild- 
ing the revolutionary party in America, will follow us 
in our course. In any case, we and the Spartacist group 
as a whole look forward to continued fraternal rela- 
tions and cooperation in united actions with the com- 
rades of the ASOC. 

Not the End, But the Beginning! 

A small but important chapter in the history of 
American revolutionary socialism has come to a close. 
We hope that we can measure up to the tasks that face 
us, the bearers of the communist future of mankind, 
and that all socialists who are the irreconcilable ene- 
mies of capitalist and Stalinist oppression, in this short 
period of time we have remaining before the final 
struggles that determine the fate of our race take 
place, will make those decisions and take those actions 
which alone can guarantee the victory of humanity 
over the forces of annihilation and barbarism, will 
take the road marked out by Lenin and Trotsky during 
the first half of our century. There is no other way. 


For the Revolutionary Tendency, YPSL: 
Douglas Hainline, New York, NEC member 
Lyndon Henry, Texas, NEC alternate 
David Rader, New York, NEC alternate 

. . . PURGE 

(Contiiiued from Page 16) 
ticularly busy weekend. The next day she had to rush 
down to Philadelphia to undergo the formality of a 
trial prior to expulsion from the SWP. The local branch 
acted on charges proposed by party National Secretary 
Farrell Dobbs. These were: (1) the main charge that 
she went on a "political junket" to Cuba as part of the 
travel-ban-breaking group without prior party ap- 
proval; (2) that "co-thinkers" had informed the SWP 
that she had distributed copies of the Spartacist in 
Cuba; and (3) that on her return she stayed at the 
home of a leading Spartacist and had participated 
without prior SWP clearance in a New York Times 
group interview (see Aug. 19 issue), organized by the 
Student Committee for Travel to Cuba. 

The third charge concerning her return is peculiar — 
in the Times she upheld the position of the SWP and 
was praised for her remarks by the party National 
Organizational Secretary, Ed Shaw. And to make an 
accusation out of staying with a Spartacist supporter 
is simply evidence of a contemptible, bureaucratic men- 
tality. The second charge of distributing copies of the 
Spartacist in Cuba is flatly false. Examination of the 
main charge reveals a deep-going hypocrisy by the 
SWP-YSA Majority toward the whole series of Student 
Committee-sponsored trips. Comrade Stoute had asked 
permission to go. The party equivocated for several 
weeks without giving her an answer ; the time came to 
go and she left "without permission"! In the Militant, 
the SWP has supported these Cuba trips in words, but 
meanwhile the YSA, without coming out openly, has 
done everything it could to keep young people from 
going. (And the YSA leadership had thfe gall to com- 
plain to the official Cuban Federation of University 
Students when at the last moment two YSA function- 
aries applied and were not allowed to go,) 

Not Yet the End 

The purge of oppositionists goes . on apace in the 
SWP and YSA. On November 14, following the collec- 
tive expulsion at the YSA plenum and the accompany- 
ing official proscription of the Spartacist group, a sup- 
porter of the Wohlforth committee was "suspended in- 
definitely" from the YSA for publicly selling his group's 
bulletin. And the end is not yet in sight as the party 
Majority tries to cinch up its departure from revolu- 
tionary Marxism by a campaign of expelling opposi- 
tionists and silencing dissidents. ■ 

sm avoHobfe 
SPARTACIST Special Election Suppiemenf 

Contents include: 

— Critical Support for SWP Campaign 

— Answer Goldwaterism with Class Politics 

— PLM Errs in Opposing SWP Campaign 

a copy free on request from: SPARTACIST, 
Box 1377, G.P.O. - New York, N. Y. 10001 


. . . HARLEM 

(Continued from Page 1) 
"riot" and thereby "justify" a full- 
scale police offensive intended to smash 
every sijcn of struggle and intimidate 
the movement for a long time to come. 
Demonstrators at the 28th precinct 
house in Harlem were therefore press- 
ed back, and back again, by the cops, 
who harangued them in racist terms, 
roughly dragged several of them into 
the station house, and finally charged 
into th e main body. Then, the moment 
resistance flared, the Tactical Police, 
already on hand and waiting, surged 
through the mairt streets of Harlem 
attacking not only the demonstrators 
near the precinct but, for example, 
charging into Saturday night crowds 
as they left movie theaters, throwing 
up barricades in such a way as to 
prevent fleeing crowds from dispers- 
ing and running down and group- 
beating fleeing or defiant individuals. 
This then created the "riot" situation 
necessary to justify the all-out inter- 

Previously Prepared 
Police Commissioner Murphy who 
directed the attack made no bones 
about acknowledging (The New York 
Times, July 20) that the city police 
had been "fully prepared" for several 
months and that his staff had long 
since brought their "riot-control" 
plans "up to date." Given the forego- 
ing months of press preparation, it 
could be expected that not only would 
there be no outcry from the general 
public, but that, on the contrary, the 
"riots" themselves would be regarded 
by middle-class whites as conclusive 
evidence that Negroes are, by nature, 
uncontrollable and violent, and that 
further division of black and white 
workers and discredit to the Negro 
people's fight for freedom and equality 
would result. And just as the treat- 
ment of the July 18 demonstrators was 
a provocation to all Harlem, so the 
Harlem events were in turn a provo- 
cation to every other black ghetto in 
the North, evoking echoing outbreaks 
in seven others in the following weeks. 
It is unlikely tha,t such a wide-scale 
strategic attack against the Negro 
people could have been carried through 
without the complicity of the highest 
political power in the land — the John- 
son administration in Washington. 

Test of Leaders 
This clear and dii-ect confrontation 
between the Negro masses and the po- 
lice, agents of those who have created 
and maintain for their own profit the 
miserable conditions under which mil- 
lions of black workers live and die, 
was a test of all who seek to lead the 

Negroes' dtruggle. The teen-agers and 
young workers of the ghetto fought 
back valiantly, but the defiant shouts 
and coke bottles of individuals, no 
matter how numerically preponderant, 
were no match for the organized, armed 
force of the police, as the casualties 
show. Obviously the overriding need 
of the ghetto was — and is — its own 
self-directed mass organization. 


Furthermore, the question of or- 
ganization is no abstract one in this 
case. The people were in the streets, 
angry and ready to struggle, conscious 
of themselves not as mere individuals 
but as thousands with the same basic 
interests and needs, facing one enemy. 
Under such conditions there is a spon- 
taneous urge toward organization — a 
handful of people walking with Bay- 
ard Rustin instantly became hundreds 
(he urged them to go home) ; on an- 
other occasion a few people with 
"Wanted For Murder — Gilligan the 
Cop" signs became in minutes a march 
a thousand strong. The masses were 
crying out for organization and lead- 
ership as at no other time. All who 
would be leaders must be judged fore- 
most on their response to this tran- 
scendent need. 

"Unity Council" 
On Monday, July 20, almost all ex- 
isting Harlem organizations formed a 
"Unity Council" which included both 
integrationists and nationalists, from 
the NAACP to the Muslims to Mal- 
colm X's organization; the American 
Negro Labor Council, and Negro busi- 
ness associations; Jesse Grey, the rent 
strike leader, and Dunbar McLaurin, 
slumlord; Percy Sutton for the Demo- 
cratic Party, and so on, through a list 
of 65 organizations. The Unity Coun- 
cil pledged itself to "restore peace in 
the community" and put forward sev- 
eral semi-reformist demands. But the 
only action vigorously pursued by this 
impressive alliance of "leaders" was 
directed! against the one serious at- 
tempt that was made to give effective 
organization and direction to the peo- 
ple in the streets. 

Harlem Defense Council 
That effort was made by the Harlem 
Defense Council (HDC) which, by 
Tuesday, had issued a leaflet reading 
events of the last two days have shown 
that if ive are not organized we are 
just a mob and not in a position to 
properly deal with the enemy. OR- 
Harlem Defense Council calls on all 
black people of Harlem to set up Block 
Committees with the purpose of de- 
fending each and every block in Har- 
lem from the cops. MASS DEMON- 

STRATION. Each home and each 
block must be so organized that on 
Saturday, July 29th, we will be able 
to have an organized march. . . . As the 
march moves up Lenox Avertue each 
Block Captain will have his block ready 
to join as we pass his block." Though 
only a small group, the HDC did all 
it could to translate this call into rcr 

United Front Against HDC 
This beginning, however small, to- 
ward the creation of a co'interforce to 
the institutionalized violence and op- 
pression of the state, struck fear into 
the hearts of the ruling class and their 
"liberal" politicians, their cops, and 
their "Negro leaders." On its eve the 
March was banned by Commissioner 
Murphy in the interest of so-called 
law and order. The position taken by 
the Unity Council was that while the 
ban was bad, the march was worse 
(for the quaking petty-bourgeoisie 
view nothing with more alarm than 
the organization .of the masses). 
Springing into action in probably the 
first grass-roots work most of its sup- 
porters had ever done, the Unity Coun- 
cil canvassed the blocks along the 
route of the proposed march, circulat- 
ing leaflets and urging tenants not to 
participate. They devoted ceaseless 
efforts to attempting to persuade Ep- 
ton, leader of the HDC and vice-chair- 
man of the Progressive Labor Move- 
ment, to call off the march, and did 
succeed in convincing Jesse Grey to 
withdraw his backing at the last min- 
ute. (Grey, who had seemed a genuine 
militant up to this point, apparently 
was unable to withstand the pressure 
of a real showdown and not only with- 
drew his support to the march but 
later also revoked his sponsorship of 
the Harlem Solidarity Committee's 
garment center rally, pulled a number 
of buildings off rent strike, and ap- 
peared in court to voluntarily deny 
that he had any intention of organiz- 
ing a force of "one hundred revolu- 
tionaries" in Harlem.) The efforts of 
the Unity Council were ih concert with 
those of the police who were mobilized 
27,000 strong to crush the march. And 
if this wasn't sufficient, James Lawson, 
head of the United African National- 
ist Movement and another indefatig- 
able member of the Unity Council, 
offered his own black membership to 
fight alongside the police against the 
marchers! With much courage and 
dignity Epton, with his lawyer, Conrad 
Lynn, with the continued support of 
the Freedom Now Party, and others, 
stepped out to begin the march and 
was immediately arrested. Leaderless, 
the demonstration did not materialize. 

Solidarity Committee 
Those militant forces that were in- 
side Harlem stood with the Harlem 


James Robertson, foreground, editor of SP ART AGIST, addresses 
rally called by Harlem Solidarity Committee in the garment district. 

Defense Council; those outside joined 
together to form the Harlem Solidar- 
ity Committee in an attempt to take 
the pressure off the ghettos — now in- 
cluding Bedford-Stuyvesant — by rally- 
ing working-class support for the be- 
seiged Negro people. Initiated by the 
Spartacist group, other participants 
in the HSC included Youth Against 
War and Fascism, Workers World, the 
Brooklyn Civil Rights Defense Com- 
mittee, the Committee for Peace Or- 
ganization, and the Progressive La- 
bot Movement. (The Socialist Workers 
Party, which was also initially involv- 
ed, withdrew, citing the pressure of 
"lection petition work — though saying 
privately that they felt the groups in- 
volved were "disreputable.") Around 
the slogans "Hemove the Rioting Cops 
from Harlem" and "Support the Right 
of the Citizens of the Ghetto to Defend 
Themselves," the Harlem Solidarity 
Committee organized a mass rally in 
the center of the garment district, and, 
despite the fact that use of sound 
equipment was denied by the police, 
addressed nearly 1,000 woi'kers who 
enthusiastically supported the speak- 
ers and make quick work of the one 
or two hecklers. James Robertson, 
Spartacist editor, described the role 
of the cops in creating the riots and, 
in reference to attempts being made 
to blame the riots on Communists, said 
that "unfortunately there aren't many 
Reds in Harlem now — but there will 

Playing With Fire 

Though the "riots" were needed by 
and provoked by the bourgeoisie as an 
excuse to crush a growing mass move- 
ment, nevertheless the development 
and outcome of such an undertaking 
cannot be fully foreseen. It is certain 
that resistance to the police attack 
far exceeded what they had antici- 
pated, for the extent to which the 
youth and young workers of the ghet- 
to fought back, even without organi- 
zation, was an ominous portent for 
the ruling class. In Rochester, for ex- 
ample, the city "police force was ac- 
tually defeated and driven from the 
ghetto area in the initial hours of 
fighting; only with the intervention 
of the state police and national guard 
was the ghetto re-occupied. 

All leaderships, during normal times, 
claim to be militant and independent 
of the power structure. It is times of 
crisis when pressures, but also needs 
and opportunities, are greatest that 
provide a real test, with lessons to be 
learned for both sides. Prior to the 
"riots" the bourgeoisie had been un- 
certain about the Black Nationalists. 
However, when forced to choose sides 
the usually militant-sounding Nation- 
alists proved themselves to be thor- 
oughly reliable allies of the (white) 
bourgeoisie, playing no role different 

from, or even independent of, the mid- 
dle-class integvationists. It was class 
orientation, not color orientation, that 
provided the basis during- those July 
days for an alternative leadership: 
i.e., the Harlem Defense Council. 

The response by the ruling class 
to the threat of class rather than race 
struggle was two-fold. On a minor 
scale it experimented with encourag- 
ing the development of a respectable 
nationalist movement which could ex- 
ploit the wide-spread pseudo-national- 
ist sentiment among Hai'lem youth and 
channel it against the "Reds." Such a 
movement would also be useful in call- 
ing off or controlling future ghetto- 
sparked protest which might be em- 
barrassing or threatening to the rul- 
ing class, since the old middle-class 
civil-rights leaders had been shown 
over the past period to no longer be 
effective in this regard. For this rea- 
son Black Nationalists were, for the 
fiist time, received by the Mayor and 
other City officials; and Lawson and 
Overton were enabled, with police sup- 
port, to hold rallies in the cefiter of 
Harlem which was forbidden to others. 
As could be expected, these figures 
threw themselves wholeheartedly be- 
hind the anti-Red witch hunt, which 
was the primary tactic of the ruling 

Witch Hunt 

To cover up their own role and to 
prei)arc for ridding themselves of 
those who proved the potential real op- 
position, the authorities immediately 

launched a no-hold.s-barred witch hunt, 
and the gutter press appeared with 
such daily headlines as "Riot Leftists 
Urged Murders." In this atmosphere 
sweeping injunctions were issued to 
all who were associated in even fhe 
most remote way with either the Ep- 
ton March or the Harlem Solidarity 
Committee, forbidding them from "as- 
sembling, gathering together, conven- 
ing, parading, marching, demonstrat- 
ing or acting in concert, in the public 
streets, squares, sidewalks and other 
public areas" from 110th Street to 
155th Street and from river to river. 
Epton was charged with "criminal an- 
archy," on the basis of a paraphrase 
of Lenin's State atid Revolntiov, with 
urging the murder of cops and judges, 
and faces 10 yeais in prison and $10,- 
000 fine if convicted. (Apparently the 
Communist Party is hoping to get rid 
of its leftist-Maoist opposition since 
Gurley Flynn speaking fi'om Moscow 
and The Worker did everything pos- 
sible to lend credence to the phony 
charges.) A Grand Jury "investiga- 
tion" was initiated against the Pro- 
gressive Labor Movement in an at- 
tempt to place the blame on them for 
instigating the riots. In this context 
and the concomitant pull-back in 
struggle, practically all special re- 
actionary interests have been encour- 
aged. The combined forces of the Daily 
News, landlords, and police depart- 
ment circles went on to initiate their 
own successful witch hunt, against 
(Continued Next Page) 


. . . HARLEM 

(Continued from Page 5) 
Mobilization for Youth, a city social 
agency which had supported rent 
striken. Those forces opposing school 
integration have been encouraged to 
mobilize and launch a counterattack 
against even the most minimal efforts 
toward school integration. Eventu- 
ally, with the issuance of the PBFs 
report on September 27, it became 
apparent that, lacking a single shred 
of evidence, the FBI was not able to 
either sustain or create a "Red Con- 
spiracy" underlying or linking togeth- 
er the various riots. They had to 
settle merely for exonerating the cops 
(whom they found to have been too 
soft in suppressing Negroes), label- 
ing all who resisted police terror as 
the worst and most irresponsible ele- 
ments of society, and toeing the line 
for Police Commissioner Murphy as 
regards his personal shibboleth, a civ- 
ilian review board. 

SWP Disoriented 

The response of one other organiza- 
tion must be examined in relation to 
to Harlem events — that is the Social- 
ist Workers Party, which still claims 
to be a Trotskyist organization and 
the vanguard of the American work- 
ing class. Once again events left the 
SWP far behind — with the consent of 
the SWPf The political line of this 
group in recent years justifies their 
own abstention from struggle since 
they see themselves as unessential to 
the victorious outcome of these strug- 
gles, HaViup lost confidence ia their 
ability to lead, they have revised rev- 
olutionary ti-ieory to eliminate the ne- 
cessity for conscious, revolutionary 
leadership in the fight for socialism, 
and look to other, non-working-class 
forces to do the job for them. On this 
basis the SWP restrains its members 
from any active involvement in the 
Negro struggle, choo.sing instead to act 
as a cheering section for one or an- 
other "leader." 

There is a revolutionary axiom con- 
cerning the interrelationship of action 
and theory: A line formulated apart 
from experience will undoubtedly err, 
Avhile a correct line embodied in cad- 
res deeply rooted in, the class can be 
decisive in the outcome of a struggle. 
The SWP's lack of involvement and 
experience in the Negro arena is un- 
doubtedly responsible for its incorrect 
analysis of the Harlem events as con- 
tained in the Militant of August 10 
under the heading "Meaning of tlje 
Harlem Riots" by the party's official 
Intellectual, William P. Warde. 

In this article Warde views the riots 
solely as "eruptions" and "spontan- 
eous outbursts" stemming from frus- 
tration and bad conditions. He over- 

looks the whole development of class 
forces over the preceding period cul- 
minating in the necessity for, and de- 
cision of, the bourgeoisie to bring a 
halt to a potentially threatening chaiii^ 
of militant actions. To him the riots 
are a "new, higher stage" of the strug- 
gle, and he speaks of "urban guer- 
rilla warfare" and "revolutionary 
methods." But fighting back in a war 
started by one's enemy for his own 
interest while one's own side is un- 
prepared is hardly in itself "revolu- 
tionary" — ^it's more like instinct. Rev- 
olutionary methods ©f struggle involve 
precisely preparation and orfftmita- 
tion, on a mass basis, so that there is 
at least a fitting chance to win some- 
thing whether or not complete vic- 
tory is gained in that particular strug- 
gle. And it is no "higher stage," no 
step forward, which results in all cas- 
ualties on one's own side, the winning 
of not even the most minor concession, 
and in the aftermath a sweeping witch 
hunt, and demoralization and inactiv- 
ity among one's own forces. The riots 
were in actuality a set-hack to an 
upward motion, not a step forward — 
though with proper leadership and or- 
ganization they could have led to a 
great step forward. 

Ever Upward with William F. Warde 
In the following key paragraph 

from the Warde article we can see the 

crux of the SWP's revisionism on all 

questions : 

"The revolt of the black freedom 
fighters is moving forward under 
our eyes from, one stage to another 
in obedience to the objective laws 
of every great national and social 
revolutionary process. Each new 
stage emerges with implacable ne- 
cessity from the gainjs and deficien- 
cies, the victories and setbacks, of 
its predecessor. The needs and de- 
mands that power its progress are 
too imperative and irrepressible to 
be arbitrarily halted. Both conces- 
sions and repressions feed it and 
stimulate its forces in different ways 
as the cumulative momentum of its 
onward march keeps lifting it to 
higher levels of struggle." 

In the inexorable advance of History 
there can be no defeats, for, according 
to the above schema, even a setback 
is a step forward. And what role is 
there for a revolutionary vanguard in 
this chain of inevitable and automatic 
progression? The aging leadership of 
the SWP, tired and discouraged after 
35 years of struggle in the heart of 
world imperialism, no longer believes 
it will play a role; therefore they re- 
vise revolutionary theory to eliminate 
themselves. Contrary to the whole 
force of Leon Trotsky's analysis and 
revolutionary struggle, they feel that 
the question of leadership is no longer 

decisive and hence are not seriously 
concerned with it. 

Accurate, careful analysis is not im- 
portant if it is not made from the 
standpoint of determining one's own 
future orientation toward a struggle. 
Thus the Warde article omits mention 
of either the Unity Council or the HDC 
march, for to criticize the first would 
be, in effect, a criticism of the Na- 
tionalists upon whom the SWP banks 
all, and to give due credit to the HDC 
would be building a hated and envied 
competitor. And since the SWP can 
no longer admit errors it is forced to 
cast the Nationalists in the role of 
the militants in the struggle despite 
the fact that they were, at the time, 
in alliance with the liberal integral 
tionists whom the SWP condemns. At 
another point "Warde lumps together 
as "the most militant": Jesse Grey, 
Bill Epton, and the various Black Na- 
tionalists. But a class line was drawn 
between Epton and the Nationalists, 
with Grey vacillating and finally end- 
ing up on the wrong side. 

In its search for non-class elements 
to cast in a leadership role, the SWP 
makes no mention of the formeriy^ 
vaunted "bold new leadership" which, 
as recently ago as April, the Militant 
hailed as "the dividing line in the 
civil rights struggle in this city." 
(The Spart AGIST had characterized the 
groups which had called the second 
school boycott and stall-in as a tem- 
porary, artificial alliance of militant 
and ' militant-sounding individuals.) 
Having found this force to cuddle up 
to in April, the SWP had necessarily 
to lose it in July, for by the time of 
the "riots" this "bold new leadership" 
no longer existed! The SWP, in put- 
ting forward uncritically one nonrer- 
olutionary Negro leadership or an- 
other, praising their good points while 
omitting ansrthing unfavorable in 
either record or program, te in fetet 
encouraging the Negro people to place 
their trust in leaders who ivill only 
sell them out at some future, possibly 
more critical date. 

Waiting for Malcolm X 

Warde's Militant article ends by 
hopefully anticipating that Malcolm 
X and his new Organization of Afro- 
American Unity can fill the leadership 
vacancy. Malcolm X has been the 
SWP's top candidate for Black Leader 
for almost two years, and they are 
reluctant to give him up despite re- 
cent — and predictable statements by 
him which must be highly embarras- 
sing to them. Malcolm X has now be- 
come the protege of Sheik Muhammad 
Sarur Al-Sabban, head of the World 
Mdslim League and described by Mr. 
X as "the richest and most powerful 
figure in Saudi Arabia today. . . . 
Many very responsible Arabs refer to 


— 7 

him as the 'real king of the Hejaz' " 
that is, Arabia — the last bastion of 
legal chattel slavery (of black Afri- 
cans!) in the world today. From that 
land of oil-imperialism financed slav- 
ery Malcolm X, in his new position as 
official representative of the World 
Muslim League, has assured the Amer- 
ican bourgeoisie that he is not anti- 
American, un-American, seditious, or 
subversive {The New York Times, 
Oct. 4). In proclaiming his new-found 
Brotherhood of all Mankind he has 
the effrontery to proclaim before the 
Negro people that some of his dearest 
friends are — Uncle Toms! He goes on 
to say "It takes all religious, political, 
economic, psychological and racial in- 
gredients to make the Human Family 
and the Hupian Society complete. . . . 
We must forget politics and propa- 
ganda and approach this (the race 
problem) as a Human Problem" call- 
ing for "real meaningful actions, sin- 
cerely motivated by a deep sense of 
humanism and njoral responsibility." 
It has now become the prime respon- 
sibility of Negro leaders to make "their 
own people see that with equal rights 
also, go equal responsibilities." The 
Militant has devoted a lot of space to 
Malcolm X over the past couple of 
years, but these words never appeared 
in, nor were they commented on by 
that paper. 

Defend Bill Epton 

The roll-back and lull in the North- 
ern freedom struggle resulting from 
demoralization following the "riots" 
will be only temporary despite the 
desire of existing organizations to per- 
mit only the most' limited and "safe" 
activities. Such programs will only 
serve to widen the gap between the 
Negro masses and these middle-class 
organizations; it has been correctly 
said that the riots were the death knell 
of a militant CORE. Yet despite the. 
widespread pseudo-nationalist senti- 
ment, nationalist organizations, despite 
their mjilitant-sounding rhetoric, have 
become increasingly exposed to those 
young militants prepared to commit 
themselves unreservedly to organized 
struggle. Only the Harlem Defense 
Council, of all existing black organi- 
zations, withstood the stringent tests 
of the past period. Yet HDC itself is 
at present only a tiny and by no means 
fully correctly oriented organization. 
Struggle must also continue within 
the existing civil rights organizations 
to win their best' elements to a pro- 
gram of mass organization and mili- 
tant struggle. 

The vigorous defense of Bill Epton 
(and those other HDC members who 
have now been charged with "criminal 
contempt" for refusing to aid Epton's 
frameup) is directly and urgently tied 
to far broader needs. The authorities 

are trying to make HDC into a "hor- 
rible example" and scapegoat in the 
campaign of suppression through fear 
and Red scare in Harlem and all the 
great black ghettos of the northern 
cities. To smash this attack and de- 
fend HDC is an immediate way to 
strike at this whole trend and widen or 
reopen fields of struggle being clamped 
shut. Such a defense requires many 
elements: a non-partisan, i.e., polit- 
ically inclusive, national defense com- 
mittee side-by-side with a principled 
refusal to empty the defense of its 
content by concealing or sidestepping 
the radical beliefs and aims of the 

Bill Epton 

defendants; an emphasis on mass or- 
ganization — both of local defense com- 
mittees in the cities, ghettos and cam- 
puses across the country and of ac- 
tions and demonstrations rightly turn- 
ing the Epton case info the cause 
celebre of this country. 

Revolutionary Program 

Revolutionaries in the Negro free- 
dom movement need to pose transi- 
tional demands which, at each point, 
tend to bring the Negro masses to the 
recognition in struggle that fundamen- 
tal solutions to their problems are not 
possible within the framework of the 
capitalist system, a- system which in- 
corporates in its very being inequality, 
racism, and mass destruction. Depres- 
sion-level unemployment within the 
ghetto will not be solved by fighting 
for a job here or a job there or by 
schemes which bring the black and 
white workers into conflict over a 
shrinking job pool. Rather, a revolu- 
tionary program attempts to unite 
black and white workers in a common 
struggle to increase the number of 
jobs. The best method of doing this is 
to fight for the shorter work week at 
no loss in pay ("30 for 40"). The fact 
that electricians in New York recently 
won a 25-hour workweek indicates that 
this struggle is definitely on the agen- 

da. Ghetto organization can presently 
best be extended through the creation 
of block councils firmly based on build- 
ing tenant councils. Through .'^uch 
councils ghetto dwellers gain experi- 
ence in organized struggle and confi- 
dence in their abilities to fight. One of 
the most effective and militant weap- 
ons in this struggle is the rent strike 
which must be expanded, especially 
in view of the current attempt of the 
landlords and courts to put a stop to 
this once and for all. Moreover, such 
councils form a natural basis for the 
organization of defense patrols to pro- 
tect the community against future po- 
lice riots — ^d s.uch patrols are the 
embryo of that workers militia which 
will defend the coming American Rev- 
olution. The challenge from Parents 
and Taxpayei's must be met by plans 
for immediate integration of all schools 
backed up by the force of massive 
demonstrations and boycotts. 

A revolutionai-y leadership will edu- 
cate the Negro people to the under- 
standing that the Democratic Party 
is merely the preferred political tool 
of the very classes responsible for op- 
pression. The Democratic Party has 
been the most powerful political force 
in this country .for three decades; the 
fact that it has done nothing of any 
substance to advance the position of 
the Negro people is because it doesn't 
want to: it is controlled by powerful 
financial interests who benefit from 
the oppression of Negroes. The cop on 
the corner, Murphy, and the judges 
are all part of the Democratic machine 
on the local level. The only alternative 
is the development of a mass Labor 
party based on an alliance of black 
and white workers committed to a 
socialist solution to the problems of the 
working class — unemployment, speed- 
up, low wages, slums, and racism. 
Tn the absence of such a party, sup- 
port must be given to all independent 
political candidates who have pro- 
grams based on the needs of the ghet- 
to, such as the Freedom Now Party. 

Black Workers Will Lead ! 
Out of the strujjgle for and' imple- 
mentation of such a program will come 
a new revolutionary orcranization call- 
able, of organizing the Negro masses 
and leading them in struggle. Such an 
organization, through fighting for the 
special needs of the Negro people, will 
form its link through the Revolution- 
ary Party to broader struggles — ulti- 
mately the struggle for workers power 
and a socialist reorganization of so- 
ciety. The Negro people, the most ex- 
ploited section of the working class, 
will, by virtue of their long experience 
in struggle for a better life, play a 
leading role in the emancipation of 
the entire American working class — 
and through them, of all humanity. ■ 




The Sino-Sovlet dispute has further 
stimulated a process that neither of the 
disputing parties can stop : the breaking 
UP of the once monolithic International 
Communist movement into its compon- 
ent — national — parts. The Rumanian, 
Italian, and French Communist Parties' 
recent maneuvers toward maximizing 
their security and privileges within the 
context of a national political and eco- 
nomic structure are the most recent ex- 
pressions of this universal process. The 
trend has reached it furtherest develop- 
ment in the split between China and the 
Soviet Union — a split which flows from 
a profound divergence of national inter- 
ests, and which, given the social charac- 
ter of the bureaucracies in question, 
cannot be healed. Khrushchev's ouster 
was undoubtedly due in large part to 
his intransigent opposition to the 
Chinese Communist Party (CCP), but 
the feeble attempts of Brezhnev and 
Kosygin to ameliorate the conflict can 
retard only slightly what is, at bottom, 
an irreversible process. 

The depth of the split can be judged 
not only by the refusal of the Soviet 
Union to support China in the Sino- 
Indian border conflict, but by the fact 
that it instead supported — with arms 
— India! Under such circumstances 
China's development of the A-bomb 
must be greeted by all revolutionary 
Marxists as a welcome strengthening 
of Chinese defenses at a time when the 
Chinese Revolution is not only being 
aggressively threatened by U.S. im- 
perialism but when it is also being sys- 
tematically betrayed by the Soviet 
bureaucracy in the search for "peace- 
ful coexistence." However, the main 
point is that every increase in the 
ability of the Chinese to hold the U.S. 
at bay militarily is an increase in time 
to prepare the proletarian revolution — 
above all in America — the only final 
safeguard to all gains thus far made 
by the international working class. 

Toward a Revolutionary Answer 

As the Stalinist monolith disinte- 
grates, workers and youth within the 
Communist movement begin to genu- 
inely seek a revolutionary alternative 
to the reformism of the old-line Stalin- 
ist parties and at first glance the 
Chinese position appears to offer this. 
Thus, the first steps toward class pol- 
itics are often in the direction estab- 
lished by the Chinese CP. We nee that 
the Sino-Soviet dispute not only accel- 
erates national decomposition of the 
Communist movement, but also furthers 
polarization within the ranks of each 

The Progressive Labor Movement, 
much smaller than the American CP, 
has found much needed moral support 
in the CCP's criticism of the Soviet 
leadership. But, since the Chinese have 
not gone beyond superficialities and 
formalism the responsibility now con- 
fronts PL to explain the development 
of class-collaborationist policies by the. 
Soviet bureaucracy. In explaining the 
victory of October Lenin said, "Only 
the history of Bolshevism during the 
whole period of its existence can satis- 
factorily explain why it was able to 
build up and maintain^ under the most 
difficult conditions, the iron discipline 
necessary for the victory of the prole- 
tariat." Similarly, only the history of 
the Comintern during the whole period 
of its existence can satisfactorily ex- 
plain why it degenerated into today's 
stinking corpse. Present reality is not 
accidental or unrelated to the past but 
is, rather, the total realization of it. 
Nothing can be understood except in 
its historical development. 

SUlin'fi Politics 
It is this method that PL has thus 
far avoided. The entry of the Chinese 
CP into the Koumintang (ordered by 
Stalin) resulted in the tragic slaughter 
of thousands of Chinese workers in 
Shanghai and Wuhan at the hands of 
Chiang Kai-shek in 1927. During the 
"Third Period," under the false policy 
of "social fascism," the German CP 
refused to launch a United Front 
struggle against Fascism (as Remmele, 
one of the KPD's leading parliamen- 
tarians, said, "Let Hitler take office — 
he will soon go bankrupt, and then it 
will be our day.") In France in 1936, 
when the "People's Front" government 
faced a massive strike wave in which 
the French workers had occupied the 
factories and were the overwhelming 
force in the country. Thorez said, "One 
must learn how to end a strike!," and 
the French CP continued to support 
the bourgeois coalition government. In 
Spain the Spanish Revolution was ber 
headed by Stalinist "Peoples Front" 
policies under which the CP destroyed 
the workers' militia of Barcelona' in 
May, 1937, reinstated the hated 
bourgeois police, and murdered worlc- 
ers' leaders. At the end of the Second 
World War, in France and Italy when 
the Communist-led working classes 
Were the major armed force in the 
countries, the CP's of these countries 
entered bourgeois coalition govern- 
ments and disarmed the workers. 

An of the foregoing are not just 
isolated facts! To acknowledge some 
and ignore others, while refusing to 

see or explain the organic interrelation 
of all these events is not Marxian dia- 
lectical materialism but empiricism — 
the very method which led to the above 
mistakes and crimes. The mistakes of 
the past cannot simply be forgotten, 
or laid aside in the. interests of present- 
day "unity." The contradictions of the 
present epoch of imperialist decay con- 
tinually create the objective conditions 
for proletarian revolution. As touched 
on above, too many of these opportun- 
ities have been destroyed or betrayed. 
As the conditions of our epoch con- 
tinue to create similar opportunities, 
the policies of the past which led to 
defeats of revolutions must be under- 
stood thoroughly so as not to be re- 
peated. An overall historical analysis 
must be made of the past decade despite 
conclusions which doubtlessly will be 
unpopular with some who call them- 
selves socialists and communists. This 
is absolutely necessary for the creation 
of the Revolutionary Vanguard which 
must be forged in this country. Only 
if it is properly armed theoretically and 
prograrnmatically will it be able to lead 
a victorious struggle for the prole- 
tarian dictatorship in the United 

The following article thus takes as 
its point of departure the needs of the 
international proletarian revolution 
and derives from these the particular 
strategy toward the Sino-Soviet dis- 
pute. The substance of this ai-ticle was 
presented as a resolution for the SWP 
National Convention in the Summer 
of 1963 by the Revolutionary Tendency. 
The present article has been very 
slightly abridged. The intervening 
time has served only to reinforce its 


The open split between the ruling 
groups in the Peoples' Republic of 
China and the Soviet Union is a fact 
of world-historical significance. On the 
surface the split appears to be a dis- 
pute over ideological questions among 
self - proclaimed "Marxist - Leninists." 
In its underlying reality, however, the 
split has a vastly different meaning. 
It signifies the eruption of irreconcil- 
able material antagonisms between 
national Stalinist bureaucracies. The 
context of this struggle is the mortal 
crisis of the Stalinist system squeezed 
between the pressures of unyielding 
world imperialism and of rising work- 
ing classes internally. 

The crisis of Stalinism is caused by 
the growing power of the new genera- 
tion of industrial and intellectual work- 
ers in every country of the Soviet bloc. 

jgLY»AUOUST 1964 



This generation, thanks to its own ef- 
forts and to its birthright — the struc- 
tural and ideological heritage of the 
October revolution — has been able to 
achieve magnificent economic successes 
despite obstruction, incompetence, and 
inigleadership by the Stalinist rulers. 
The new working class of the Soviet 
bloc has embarked on a struggle to cast 
off Stalinist repression and obscuran- 
tism and to establish proletarian de- 

Political devolution 

The suppressed Hungarian and 
Polish revolutions showed that prole- 
tarian democracy can be won only 
through the smashing of the Stalinist 
bureaucratic and police apparatus by 
revolutionary mass action. These strug- 
gles, and their repression by the mono- 
lithically united counter-revolution, de- 
finitively verified Trotsky's program of 
political revolutibn. Political revolu- 
tion — successful repetition of the Buda- 
pest commune in Moscow and Peking 
— will be the climax of the movement 
of the Soviet bloc proletariat. 

Marxist politics and Marxist theory 
constitute a unified whole. Both are 
entirely based on the specific class in- 
terests of the proletariat, the only really 
revolutionary class of modern society. 
The developing political revolution in 
the Soviet bloc is comprehensible only 
in terms of this dialectical inter-rela- 
tionship of theory and practice: the 
development of a revolutionary-Marxist 
▼anguard party is indispensable to the 
victorious struggle of the workers, and 
no party can understand the political 
development of the Soviet bloc, mani- 
fested currently in the Peking-Moscow 
split, unless it consciously and directly 
analyzes from the point of view of the 
Soviet-bloc proletariat, i.e., on the basis 
of the political revolution. 

Only confused centrists couid try to 
explain the Sino-Soviet dispute in 
terms of the indigestible "ideological" 
apologia issued by the two sides and 
limit their conclusions to a judgment 
as to which of these positions is more 
or less "correct," is righte;- or lefter. 
The Marxist, proletarian, view starts 
with the recognition that the political 
groups symbolized by both Khrushchev 
and Mao Tse-tung are mprtal and ir- 
reconcilable enemies of proletarian de- 
mocracy, of socialism, and of the work- 
ing class. Only on this basis can the 
real issues in their conflict be grasped. 

The opposition of the Peking and 
Moscow ruling groups is grounded in 
their identity. The fundamental fact 
is that both constitute privileged 
bureaucracies able to maintain their 
caste power only through a system of 

authoritarian repression. Their spe- 
cific caste interests, as the usurpers of 
power and privilege within a social 
structure historically deriving from 
the proletarian revolution, define them 
ultimately as anti-proletarian and pro- 
capitalist despite the fact that they are 
obliged in extremis to defend the organ- 
ism upon which they are parasites 
against imperialist military onslaughts. 

Repressive Bureaucracy 

As e privileged caste formed and 
organized on a national basis, the 
Bonapartist bureaucracy of every de- 
formed workers state always and in- 
evitably seeks to maximize its own 
economic and political power. This 
takes place necessarily at the expense 
of the workers and peasants, and, if 
possible, at the expense of the imperial- 
ist sphere — but at the same time no 
Stalinist bureaucracy has shown hesi- 
tancy to defend or increase its own 
power at the expense of another de- 
formed workers state and of its ruling 
caste. The "ideological" struggle be- 
tween Peking and Moscow reflects the 
real incompatibility of the material in- 
terests of two counter-revolutionary 
national bureaucratic castes. 

The real issues in the Peking-iMos- 
cow clash are posed in terms of con- 
flicting power-political and economic 
needs. These needs reflect the different 
origins of the two national bureaucra- 
cies, and above all they reflect the dif- 
ferent relationship of forces between 
each, imperialism, and the working 
class. The differential impact of Amer- 
ican imperialism upon the Chinese and 
Russian states raises their antagonisms 
to the level of sharp struggles. The 
Maoist leadership must contend with 
an American policy quite unreconciled 
to the Peking regime and actively em- 
ploying all available means to destroy 
it. The American imperialists even 
maintain a competing paper-regime in 
the, form of the old tyrant, Chiang Kai- 
shek, oh Formosa. The Russians are 
more free from an immediate restora- 
tionist threat from imperialism and 
are driven by other forces to seek a 
detetite with the American government. 
But what Khrushchev is prepared to 
off'er in the Kremlin's side ,of a co- 
existence deal is to go even further in 
acting as imperialism's indirect police- 
man not only among workers in the 
advanced countries, but over the colo- 
nial revolutions — of which the Chinese 
is one! 

Unlike the Soviet bureaucracy, which 
developed in and through the degen- 
eration of an authentic proletarian 
revolution, the Chinese Stalinist bu- 
reaucracy has its origins in a struggle 

whose nature was petty bourgeois and 
whose direct historical mission was 
basically bourgeois. Its heroic epoch, 
the Chinese civil war, was a com- 
bination of an elemental peasant 
struggle for the land and a national- 
ist struggle against foreign domina- 
tion and for national unification. The 
leadership forged in this vast revolu- 
tionary upheaval took shape as a mili- 
tary elite, selected on the basis of the 
qualities of combativity, devotion, and 
discipline. Basically alien to the urban 
proletariat, and cut off from its own 
petty-bourgeois roots by the very fact 
of its militarization, this bureaucratic 
caste was welded together through the 
structure and leadership of the Com- 
munist Party and the ideology of Stal- 

China's change into a deformed 
workers state was initiated in a mass 
peasant-based revolutionary civil war 
which was followed by a military- 
bureaucratic process of transformation 
into a form of society modeled upon 
the Stalinized Soviet Union, econom- 
ically and politically cut off from the 
capitalist world, and economically and 
politically integrated into the Soviet 
bloc. The bureaucratic caste completed 
this transformation in a forced re- 
sponse to the overwhelming objective 
requirements of military defense in the 
Korean War and the need for rapid 
economic recovery and growth. Though 
this was done in a pragmatic fashion, 
it was perfectly consistent with Mao's 
fundamental conception of the "Bloc 
of Four Classes," whose true meaning 
is the claim of the Communist Party 
leadership to state power as a supra- 
class "Peoples Democratic Dictator- 

Chinese Nationalism 

The success of Mao Tse-tung and 
his followers in channeling and distort- 
ing into the form of a national-bureau- 
cratic straight-jacket the socialist 
drives of the Chinese revolution testi- 
fies only to the thoroughly and con- 
sistently counter-revolutionary nature 
of the Maoist bureaucracy. The petty- 
bourgeois nationalist nature of Chinese 
foreign policy is demonstrated most 
dramatically by the fact that Peking's 
border claims against New Delhi are 
supported by the Chiang Kai-shek re- 
gime occupying Formosa. The obliga- 
tion of Marxists to give unconditional 
defense to the deformed Chinese work- 
ers state in order to prevent its military 
defeat by a capitalist power cannot' be 
permitted to obscure the fact that the 
extremely sparse population of these 
wastelands is neither Chinese nor 
(Continued Next Page) 

TO — 



(Continued from Page 9) 
Indian. Humiliation of Nehru's mili- 
tary pretensions in the border conflict 
is obviously a triumph for Chinese 
foreign policy, and has gained Peking 
much closer friendship with the mili- 
tary dictators of Pakistan and Burma. 
It is an equally obvious h\o-w to Soviet 
foreign policy, which had made enor- 
mous and partially successful efforts 
to secure a relationship of special close- 
.-.ess with the Nehru regime. It is ir- 
relevant to the Chinese and Russian 
Stalinists, but of absolute importance 
to Marxists,, that the Chinese policy of 
posing the question in national-chau- 
vinist pather than class-revolutionary 
terms has done serious damage to the 
chances of the proletarian revolution 
in India and elsewhere in Asia. 

The Stalinist policy of Chinese 
hegemony over non-Chinese national- 
ities is as much a violation of the right 
of peoples to self-determination and 
contradiction of the basic interests of 
the international proletarian revolu- 
tion as is the Great-Russian chauvinism 
of the Kremlin. This is shown most 
clearly in the cases of Tibet (where 
Chinese policy resulted in an uprising 
under reactionary leadership) and of 
Formosa. Thou.uh the Pekinj? bureau- 
crats use the most violent language to 
denounce imperialist treaties at the 
expense of China, they completely en- 
dorse the imperialist Cairo agreement 
(among Roosevelt, Churchill, and 
Chiang) which gave Formosa to China. 
Using this imperialist treaty as a pre- 
text, the Chinese Stalinists refuse to 
recognize the right of the Formosan 
workers and peasants to self-determi- 
nation and reiterate their intention to 
seize Formosa by force of arms. The 
practical effects of this policy are to 
give political aid to Chiang in his op- 
pression of the Formosan people and 
to help U.S. imperialism in its policy 
of isolation and containment of the 
Chinese revolution. 

The extreme antagonism between 
Peking and Washington is rooted in 
the appetites of U.S. imperialism which 
still resents its loss of China, seeks 
by all means to hamper and frustrate 
Chinese development, and openly pro- 
fesses its desire to see the present 
Chinese government overthrown by 
counter-revolutionary foi'ces. This con- 
tinual pressuie has led the Chinese 
Stalinists to formulate a bitterly anti- 
U.S. foreign policy, at profound vari- 
ance to the Kremlin's basic line of a 
bi-lateral deal between the super-pow- 
ers. The underlying nationalism of the 
Peking line, however, continually acts 
to upset all efforts to break through 
the cordon sanitaire imposed by Wash- 

Chinese Economic Policy 
The economic policy of the Chinese 
Stalinists has undergone the most stag- 
gering shifts. Until 1957 the CCP's 
general line attempted to balance rapid 
industrialization with gradual agricul- 
tuz'al collectivization and slight im- 
provements in living standards — a 
policy which permitted impressive, 
even spectacular, economic progress. 
This course culminated in the brief 
"Hundred Flowers" period when the 
momentary thaw allowed the general 
proletarian and intellectual revulsion 
against the Maoist-Stalinist bureauc- 
racy to emerge into the open. The 
working-class opposition was immedi- 
ately and brutally suppressed in the 
"Anti-Rightist" campaign. The warn- 
ing of inevitable political revolution, 
however, led the bureaucracy to make 
a radical new departure in ec6nomic 
policy: the demands for workers' de- 
mocracy were to be buried through 
transformation of the entire nation 
into a tightly disciplined economic unit 
under the slogan of an immediate 
transition to full communism through 
the medium of the "rural peoples' 

Bureaucratic Adventurism 

The "great leap forwaid," viewed 
objectively, was an attempt to achieve 
rapid economic development through 
methods of total "military mobilization. 
It was an act of criminal bureaucratic 
adventurism, and failed ignobly. The 
forced communization of the peasantry, 
the elimination of all restraints on the 
duration and intensity of labor, and 
the uprooting of technical specialists 
led to an economic collapse unprece- 
dented in the history of the Soviet 
bloc. The decline in industrial and agri- 
cultural production, in industrial em- 
ployment, and in living standards was 
too drastic to be concealed, despite the 
fact that the total breakdown in eco- 
nomic planning involved the non-ex- 
istence of meaningful statistics (and, 
after 1959, of any statistics at all). 

The Chinese economic collapse in- 
creased the tension between Peking 
and Moscow to the breaking point. 
China was not only unable to fulfill 
commitments under its trade treaty 
with the Soviet Union, but simultane- 
ously demanded that the U.S.S.R. give 
it increased aid. To top it off, the 
Chinese Stalinists pressed Khrushchev 
to increase his military spending and 
to help them expend. Chinese resources 
in the development of a Chinese atomic 
bomb. Khrushchev's reaction was the 
brutal withdrawal of Soviet technicians 
at the end. of 1960, and the rapid re- 
duction of Sino-Soviet trade to a level 
reflecting China's vastly reduced ex- 
port capability. 

The Chinese Stalinists claim that 
the abandonment of the "leap forward" 

and the return of private agriculture 
on a significant scale are merely tempo- 
rary retreats within an unchanging 
policy. The basic policy of the Chinese 
Stalinists is the construction of "com- 
muhism in a single country" on a 
pauper technical basis using the un- 
aided labor of hundreds of millions of 
peasants. The Maoists refuse to depart 
even slightly from this reactionary 
conception, despite the efforts now be- 
ing made, for the first time since 1957, 
to increase trade with the capitalist 

The authoritarian attitude of ' the 
Chinese Stalinists toward the workers, 
peasants, and intellectuals has always 
been coupled with the preoccupation of 
maintaining close ties with the masses, 
and of winning genuine support for 
government policies, if possibl(». They 
have sought to gain mass -support 
through a pretense of "Leninism" as 
well as through their familiar "thought- 
reform" tactics. Similarly, in the period 
of the first Soviet Five- Year Plan, 
Stalin sought to appeal to the idealism 
of the workers and the youth on the 
basis of a seemingly "revolutionary" 
line in foreign as well as domestic 
policy: forced collectivization and the 
"Third Period" were inseparable as- 
pects of a single ultra-leftist line. In 
China, though real enthusiasm among 
certain sections of the population at 
the start of the "leap forward" is well 
attested, this had disappeared by 1962, 
Nevertheless the profession of a "left- 
ist" foreign policy remains necessary 
for the Mao regime in order to hold 
together its cadres, to distract inter- 
national attention from its catastrophic 
economic blunders, and, in addition, to 
face the intransigent hostility of im- 

Chinese Stalinism 
The Chinese Stalinists, in their dog- 
matic reiteration of the Stalin-Zhdanov 
line on everything from Art to Yugo- 
slavia, and in their continued practice 
of the Stalin cult, express clearly their 
real nature. Only people whose own 
political line has become hopelessly 
muddled can discover any inconsistency 
between the Chinese position on "de- 
stalinization" and their criticisms of 
Khrushchev's foreign policy. The 
Chinese Stalinists' ideological line is 
a consistent reflection of their 'inter- 
national isolation, the insuperable eco- 
nomic diflficulties confronting them, and 
their inability to make any real con- 
cessions to the demands of the Chinese 
people for greater freedom except at a 
deadly risk of political revolution. In 
contrast, the Soviet bureaucracy is in 
an almost diametrically opposite situ- 

The very growth and successes of 
the Soviet economy have exploded 
Stalin's autarchic fantasy of the *'two 


worid markets" (the final formulation 
of "Socialism in One Country" until 
Mao resurrected it with his communes) 
amd have forced tiife Soviet Union to 
adopt a policy aiming at integrated 
economic planning within the Soviet 
bloc and steadily increasing interde- 
pendence with the capitalist states. The 
f^rowth of the Soviet proletariat in 
size, skill, and cultural level has con- 
ftvnted the Soviet bureaucracy with a 
gigantic social force that can be tempo- 
rarily averted from political revolution 
only at the price of real concessions, of 
which the liquidation of the Stalin 
cult was the most profound. The ter- 
ribly economic drain involved in prepa*- 
rations for modem war give the Soviet 
bureaucracy powerful incentives to 
promise the people of the Soviet bloc 
•n effective reduction in international 

Consequences of Coexistence 
The basic line of the Soviet bureauc- 
racy is to preserve its power and 
privileges ttrrough a combination of 
repression with peripheral political 
concessions to and steady improvement 
in the living standards of the Soviet 
people. It therefor^ feels a profound 
need for an overall accord with U.S. 
imperialism which would permit re- 
covery of economic resources now 
wasted on military purposes and would 
allow the Soviet Union much freer 
access to Western markets. Of course 
the price for this hoped-for accord be- 
tween the U.S. and the Russian bu- 
reaucracy is to be at the expense of 

The Soviet Union is becoming a 
ste|adily more important factor in the 
world economy and in international 
politics, as is shown in varying ways 
by the increasing Soviet oil exports to 
the West, the spectacular rapproehe- 
ment between the Kremlin and Vatican, 
and the decisive military and economic 
support provided for the pro-Soviet 
regime in Cuba. This process of steady 
improvement in the bargaining posi- 
tion of the Soviet bureaucracy vis-a- 
vis U.S. imperialism has resulted in a 
general Soviet-U^S. entente on decisive 
political questions (against political 
revolution in the Soviet bloc, for neo- 
colonialism under the aegis of the 
U.N. in the backward countries) dating 
at least from the Suez and Hungarian 

U.S. - Soviet cooperation, neverthe- 
less, has been limited drastically by the 
refusal of the U.S. government to 
make any concessions on what is, to 
tbe Soviet bureaucracy, the quintessen- 
tial matter: disarmament. The Soviet 
Stalinists have sought to persuade 
U.S. capitalists that disarmament is 
in their immediate economic interest. 
The Khrushchev position is Utopian, 
not because the economic argument is 

fallacious, but because it conflicts with 
other, more fundamental, interests of 
U.S. imperialism. Imperialist power in 
the world can ultimately not be pre- 
served without armed force. The U.S., 
therefore, cannot and will not disarm. 
The Soviet econ&my, freed from the 
burden of armaments, would develop 
so rapidly that the U.S. would soon 
ilnd itself in an inferior political and 
economic situation, and this would be 
fatal for capitalism. 

In the context of its coexistence 
strategy the Kremlin is willing to ^ve 
material aid to petty - bourgeois - led 
colonial revt>lutionary movements, as 
in Algeria, while attempting to pre- 


What Is 

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vent their development into proletarian 
revolutions. For example, while main- 
taining "correct" diplomatic relations 
with the French government, the 
Kremlin via the Czech government, 
gave great quantities of arms to the 
FLN to fight the French, and simul- 
taneously, via the French CP, aided 
the FLN in its campaign to exter- 
minate opponents within the move- 
ment. (After this, the Soviet protests 
against tihe outlawing of the Algerian 
CP sound singularly hollow.) Where 
such revolutions cannot be confined 
within capitalist limits, as in Cuba, 
Soviet aid is accompanied by pressures 
toward internal dictatorship and sup- 
pression of anti-Stalinist currents and 
of subordination to the general line of 
the Kremlin. Thus, even when seem- 
ingly aiding revolutions, the Khrush- 
chev line is directly anti-working-class 
and counter-revolutionary. 

The Deformed Workers States 

The counter-revolutionary nature of 
Stalinism in all its forms ■^ithout ex- 
ception cannot be permitted to obscure 
the fundamental thesis of the Trotsky- 
ist movement that the Stalinist bu- 
reaucracy is defined by its role as a 
parasite upon the economic structures 
of the kind established initially by the 
October Revolution. The regimes in the 
Soviet bloc, now including Cuba, are 
defprmed workers states: i.e., they are 
based on property forms established^ 

directly or however indirectly, by the 
October Revolution^ propertjr form* 
which are the basis for the develop- 
ment of a socialist society. However, 
the working class in these oountries 
does not wield political power, does not 
control production, and does not dedide 
the international policy of these states. 
Thus we see the Soviet-bloc conntries 
as workers states which have become 
degenerated or been born deformed. 
Their present form can only be tempo* 
rary, and it is wrong to interpret these 
temporary distorted forms as a new or 
inevitable stage in the development of 
society. We stand for the defense of 
these states as of every conquest of 
the working class. The Fourth Inter- 
national's call for a political revolution 
to overthrow the bureaucracy in the 
workers states constitutes the most ef- 
fective defense of these states and i* 
part of the strategy of world revohu 
tion against imperialism. 

Marxist InterrenUon 
The Trotskyists totally reject a see- 
tarian, abstentionist, "plague on botk 
your houses" approach to a phenom- 
enon of wotid-historical significasioe, 
the split between the Moscow end 
Peking wings of the counter-revolit- 
tionary Stalinist bureaucracy. Thus as 
in every clash within the labor bu- 
reaucracy the contending formation^ 
may be compelled to seek mass support 
through actions whose potential conse- 
quences transcend and contradict the 
real aims of the bureaucrats. We sup- 
port all actions, however and by whom- 
ever initiated, which are in the interest 
of the working class, since as Marxists 
we have no interests distinct from 
those of the working class as a whole. 
Our intervention tends always to trans- 
form actions initiated by the bureauc- 
racy into struggles against the bureauif 
racy, whereby ttie working class can 
develop the alternative revolutionary 
leadership required for its self-libera- 

In tiieir polemics against the Soviet 
leaders, the Chinese Stalinists have 
pointed out aspects of the counter- 
revolutionary Kremlin line, its concili- 
ation to imperialism and open revision 
of basic Leninist concepts. In practice, 
of course, the Chinese have gone as 
far as the Soviets in 'supporting thoss 
anti - woridng-class national bouiiseois 
regimes which are willing to take a 
pro-Chinese line in foreign policy 
(Algeria, Guinea, Ghana). Neverthe- 
less, within the Communist parties out- 
side the Soviet bloc, these Chinese 
criticisms help to disrupt the disci^dine 
of the parties, and stimulate the emer- 
gence of tendencies seeking a more 
militant struggle against their own 
ruling class. 

(Continued Next Page) 

12 — 



In response to the Chinese attacks 
the Kremlin leaders have found that 
their most potent weapon is the issue 
of Stalin. Every partial exposure of 
the reality of the Stalin era, every de- 
gree of latitude for the expression of 
variant views in politics, economic;, 
and the aits, is a gain for the workers, 
and every attempt to maintain or in- 
crease repression under the pre-sure of 
"Stalin's Heirs" in Peking and Moscow 
is an attack upon the vital interests 
of the working class. 

Revolutionary Solution 

The basic orientation of the Marxists 
is always to the workers, never to 
bureaucratic leaderships. We side with 
the Communist workers of the western 
and colonial countries who, however 
confusedly, seek a revolutionary policy 
instead of the reformist coexicitence 
line. We side with the workers of the 
Soviet bloc (and those young intellec- 
tuals seeking to be their spokesmen) 
who are striving to free themselves 
from bureaucratic oppression and 
thereby to restore the revolutionary 
and socialist democracy of the Lenin 
era. The tactical problem for the Marx- 
ists is to establish ideological and po- 
litical contacts with these revolution- 
ary tendencies in order to deve'lop 
common actions against impciialist 
capitalism and its Stalinist bureau- 
cratic labor lieutenants controlling the 
deformed workers states. The strategic 
goal of the world Trotskyist movement 
is the emergence of a new revolution- 
ary leadership on the basis of the 
transitional program of the Fourth 

The program of the Fourth Inter- 
national for the Soviet Union as s^et 
forth in 1938, which posed the central 
task of the Soviet workers as the 
restoration of Soviet democracy, is en- 
tirely valid today not merely for the 
U.S.S.R. but for the deformed and 
degenerated workers states generally. 
The key points of this program are: 

— freedom of the trade unions and 
the factory committees; 

— legalization of all parties recog- 
nized as soviet parties by the workers 
and peasants; 

— revision of planned economy from 
top to bottom in the interests of pro- 
ducers and consumers. Factory com- 
mittees should be returned the right 
to control production. A democratically 
organized consumers' cooperative 
should control the quality and price 
of products; 

— reorganization of the collective 
farms in accordance with the will and 
interests of the workers there en- 
gaged ; 

— proletarian internationalism should 
replace the reactionary international 
policy of the bureaucracy. No secret 
diplomacy — the complete diplomatic 
correspondence of the state should be 

— only the victorious revolutionary 
uprising of the oppressed masses can 
revive the regime of Soviets and 
guarantee ils further development 
toward socialism. There is but one 
party capable of leading the Soviet 
masses to insurrection — the party of 
the Fourth International. 

The struggle of the masses in the 
Soviet bloc is today developing in ac- 
co) dance with this program of work- 
ers' democracy. The Trotskyists seek 
to intervene "in support of every strug- 
gle, every demand, however limited or 
partial, in accordance with this pro- 
giam. ■ 

. . . CUBA 

(Continued from Page 1) 

had undergone harassment for sev- 
eral months prior to his arrest on 
November 9, because of his outspoken 
opposition to the authoritarian atti- 
tude and buieaucratic methods and 
errors of the administration and the 
union officials. He had been transferred 
from job to job and finally, in October, 
190:1, was tiansferred to a location 
two hours from his home in Havana — 
in effect fired from his job. He fought 
the transfer and had received the sup- 
port of an Assembly of the Transport 
Workers union for his re-instatement 
and against the illegal transfer. Twice 
during this period he was held by the 
police for a short time and released. 
Following his final arrest, he was con- 
fined for several weeks by the Secur- 
ity Forces (G-2) without any charges 
and then transferred to "La Cabana" 

Loyal Participant 

As is the case with all the other 
comrades arrested, Andres was a full 
and loyal participant in all the activi- 
ties of the Revolution, from before 
1959, when the Stalinists were still 
waiting to see who would win. At the 
time of his arrest he was a sub-officer 
in a combat militia battalion and had 
been mobilized during the October, 
19G2, crisis. He was a voluntary work- 
er and a member of the Conmiittee for 
Defense of the Revolution (CDR). Be- 
fore the victory of the Revolution in 
1959 Andres was a revolutionary union 
militant and fought in the under- 
ground against Batista, as well as dur- 
ing the final insurrection. 

Floridia Fraga 

Floridia Frnga, the companion of 
Andres, was arrested without charges 
at her home the night of December 1, 

1963, after returning from a meeting 
of her CDR where she had denounced 
the arrest of Andres and asked the 
Committee to solicit his immediate re- 
lease. As a result, after she left, and 
in the presence of bureaucrats from 
the District and Sectional CDR's, Flor- 
idia and Andres were exneUed from 
the Committee and she was uruered 

Floridia, an employee of the Min- 
istry of Transport^,, was , a militia wo- 
man, a member of the Cuban Federa- 
tion of Women (FMC), and had re- 
cently done voluntary labor cutting 
sugar cane. Her father, Gustave Fra- 
ga, lost his life as a member of the 
anti-Bastista underground in Guan- 
tanamo City. She too had been a fighter 
in the underground from very early 
in the struggle. 

Ricardo Ferrara 

The following day, December 2, 1968, 
when Ricardo Ferrara went to inquire 
about Floridia at the Fifth Unit of 
the CDR, he himself was seized and 
illegally ordered arrested. Comrade 
Ricardo's outstanding revolutionary 
record started when he joined the Cas- 
tro guerillas at the age of sixteen and 
fought in the Oriente Second Front, 
"Frank Pais." He was a member of 
the Militia, the CDR, and was a "Vain- 
guard Worker" of Commerce. Shortly 
before his arrest he had just returned 
from volunteer labor, picking coffee, 
when Hurricane Flora struck. He ini- 
mediately volunteered for the rescue 
work and spent many days, almost 
without any rest, rescuing and attend- 
ing to victims of the floods. r 

All three were held incommunicado 
for five months without any accusa- 
tions or charges being placed against 
them, despite many protests from trade 
unions, union leaders, prominent so- 
cialists, and revolutionists from all 
over Latin America, including the lead- 
ership of the fighting Bolivian' tin 

Last spring they were taken from 
their prisons to a trial that was closed 
to the public. There they were charged 
with: (1) distributing an illegal pa- 
per, (2) advocating the overthrow of 
the Cuban government, and (3) being 
critical of Fidel Castro. Floridia Fraga 
and Ricardo Ferrara were sentenced 
to two years each; Andres Alfonso re- 
ceived a sentence of five years. Andres 
and Ricardo are currently serving 
their time in the "El Principe" prison, 
while Floridia is in the Woman's Pris- 
on of Guanajaz. 

Roberto Tcjera 
That same month the purge contin- 
ued with two more Trotskyists arrested 
in the same manner. Roberto Tejera 
was taken in custody when he went 
to inquire about his three comrades. 


— 13 

Idalberto Ferrera 

Later, the police came to the apart- 
ment of Idalberto Ferrera, the Gen- 
eral Secretary of the POR and editor 
of Voz Proleteria, and arrested him, 
again with no explanation. Their office 
was broken into and copies of the 
paper and other documents were con- 
fiscated. Comrade Ferrera had written 
an open letter demanding the immedi- 
ate releasie of those in prison and de- 
nouncing' the Stalinist methods used 
in their arrest and imprisonment. The 
twd w'ere brought to "trial" and found 
"guilty"' on the same charges as the 
others. Roberto was sentenced to six 
years; comrade Ferrera was sentenced 
to njne years! Significantly, the leader 
of the group received the most sever^ 
sentence, indicating the purely politi- 
cal character of the repressions. Both 
are serving their sentences in "La 
Cabana" prison. As of the time the 
American students left Cuba in Aug- 
ust, there has been no mention what- 
soever in the Cuban press of these 
drastic actions. 

In addition to these illegal jailings, 
there has been a whole series of events 
that indicate the determination of the 
Cuban leadership to isolate and crush 
tlie. Trotskyist party and its support- 
ers, liquidate the only organized criti- 
cal voice of the Revolution, and in the 
process, intimidate anyone else who 
may wish to offer a criticism or oppose 
a policy of the leadership or the Gov- 

Late in 1963, the residence permit of 
tlje delegate in Cuba of the Posadas 
Fourtli International was abruptly 
cancelled, arid after having his watch, 
clothes, and typewriter seized by the 
police, he was deported from the is- 
land. This attack came only a few days 
after the five Latin American Trotsky- 
iats participating in the Havana Con- 
gress of Architects had uncondition- 
ally offered their services following the 
strike of the hurricane. Around the 
same time, other Cuban Trotskyists 
were prevented from leaving the coun- 
try to attend a world gathering in 
Europe of the Posadas tendency. 
While in Cuba some of the students 
spoke with another comrade from 
Guantanamo City, who had been fired 
from his job by the factory administra- 
tion because he was a Trotskyist. A 
baker, he had been a union militant 
for almost thirty years and was well 
known by his fellow workers. He ap- 
pealed his dismissal (a very serious 
punishment in Cuba that prevents a 
worker from getting a job anywhere 
except in the tiny private sector that 
remains) to the factory Reclamation 
CJopimission (a grievance panel con- 
sisting of representatives of the fac- 
tory workers, the Factory Director- 
ate, and the Secretary of Labor), who 
ordered that he be reinstated. The lo- 

cal Party members and the factoiy 
management refused, so he appealed 
to the Ministry of Labor in Havana. 
The Ministry ordered him reinstated, 
but again the Party said no. He was 
in Havana fighting this last rulinji' 
when we spoke with him. 


The exemplary revolutionary record 
of the arrested five, and the Cuban 
Trotskyists as a whole, both before 
and after the triumph of the Revolu- 
tion, stands in marked contrast to 
the official rumors and cynical state- 
ments of the Cuban leadership. (Among 
the slander circulated by the Stalin- 
ists are stories of Trotskyist participa- 
tion in the Bay of Pigs invasion, where 
actually, one of the comrades fought 
\yith his militia unit to repel the in- 
vaders; of sabotage of transportation 
at Guantanamo; that the hated and 
corrupt union leader Mujal, former 
PSPer, was in reality a Trotskyist 
agent, and so on. 

During a meeting this summer with 
the American students, one of them 
asked Che Guevara, concerning the 
jailed Trotskyists, if it would not be 
better if political criticism in the 
framework of unconditional support 
and defense of the Revolution, should 
be handled politically, rather than by 
suppression of views. Guevera replied, 
"I agree with your statement, but the 
Cuban Trotskyists are not inside the 
Revolution, but only 'divisionists.' I 
did not see them in any mountains, 
I <lid not see them dead in any city 
battle. They appeared after the rev- 
olution was over giving instructions 
about Guantanamo, and so on. I won't 
say they are CIA agents — we don't 
know. They have no history of support 
to the Revolution. They say there is a 
right-wing formed by the Stalinists 
and we (Guevara) are the left-wing." 

Similar accusations were made by 
Bias Roca, thirty-year PSP member 
and professional opportunists, in an in- 
terview held for the student group 
following a tour of Hoij. After giv- 
ing a brief "history" of the Trotsky- 
ists in Cuba, Roca said, "They are 
always to the left. In 1059 they were 
calling for Soviets in Cuba. This would 
have provided Imperialism with the 
excuse to attack our Revolution as 
'Communist.' " Strange excuse from a 
presumably Communist state leader!) 
To a subsequent question he admitted 
that at the present the^e was nothing 
in Cuba comparable to the Soviets or 
Workers' Councils of revolutionary 
Russia, i.e., elected representative bod- 
ies of workers' and peasants' control 
of the State. Another question to Roca 
pointed out that since this was the 
case and since neither the structure 
of the party (PURSC) nor the pres- 
ent role of the unions were substitutes 

for this function, there seemed to be 
an organizational gap between the 
Government and the working people of 
Cuba. "Yes," he replied, "formally 
there is a gap, but in reality there is 
none." That so-called "gap" has been 
the principal focal point of the criti- 
cism and program of the Cuban Trot- 
skyists, namely, that the Cuban work- 
ers' state is not controlled by the 
Cuban working people. 

Interview with Leon Ferrera 

We had a lengthy interview in Ha- 
vana with Leon Ferrera, son of the 
imprisoned General Secretary and ed- 
itor of Voz Proleteria, Idalberto Fer- 
rera. We spoke with Leon and othe* 
comrades of POR in his small apart- 
ment in a workers' district of old Ha- 
vana. His father had received his nine 
year sentence only about three weeks 
before we had arrived in Cuba^ and 
he was not sure just when he and 
the rest of his comrades would also 
be arrested. Sitting there in his Militia 
uniform he looked very much "inside" 
the Revolution. When questioned ^out 
the repressive actions taking against 
his father and the other comrades, he 
was primarily concerned that, aside 
from the discredit to the Cuban Revo- 
lution by these Stalinist tactics, the 
arrests represented a very serious 
threat to the advance of the Revolu- 
tion. He explained that all of the 
Trotskyists' criticism had only one 
purpose — to strengthen the Revolution 
and correct its weaknesses already 
manifesting themselves. Whatever hap- 
pened to Cuba affected the rcvoltition- 
ary movement and the workers' strug- 
gles in all of Latin America and 
throughout the world. The charge that 
they were "seeking to overthrow the 
Cuban government" was ridiculous, he 
said. "We do not struggle to seize 
political power from Fidel. We fight 
in order that state power may pass 
totally to the masses; in order that 
communes and Soviets — which are the 
masses' political organs of expression 
— may be organized and function; in 
order that the masses may intervene 
and directly participate in all the ad- 
ministrative processes of economic pro- 
duction and distribution, thus prevent- 
ing bureaucratization. We struggle for 
self-administration of the masses and 
not mere obedience of orders imposed 
from above." He said that even though 
the Cuban workers and peasants pos- 
sess arms, they could not exercise po- 
litical power without Soviets. Leon 
said that their program consisted gen- 
erally of the following points: (1) for 
free elections in the unions, no slates 
chosen by the Party; (2) for the con- 
vening- of a National Congress of the 
Central de Trajabadores de Cuba Re- 
volucionaria with new leaders and del- 
egates freely elected; (3) for the es- 



. . . CUBA 

tablishme t of Workers Councils to 
control, through their delegates, the 
administration of the Cuban State; 
and (4) for the right of all political 
tendencies that support the Revolution 
to freedom of expression. 

Letter from Prison 
A striking confirmation of the revo- 
lutionary character and devotion to the 
Revolution of the Cuban comrades is 
found in a recently published letter by 
Andres Alfonso, written from the 
prison where he is serving his five- 
year term. In it he expresses concern 
over whether prison -labor is being 
utilized in the most efficient manner 
and says he feels "a revolutionary dis- 
quietude for being condemned already 
for five months to total inactivity, eat- 
ing as a parasite, depriving the Revol- 
ution of my humble mechanic's role." 
Later he states, "We criticize the bu- 
reaucracy as an obstacle to the Revol- 
ution, but we oflFer solutions, the means 
to combat it and to attenuate the dam- 
age caused by the bureaucracy and we 
understand that the best form, if not 
to eradicate it, at least to diminish 
the negative influence of the bureauc- 
racy, is the intervention of the masses, 
control by the working class, and the 
functioning of socialist democracy. 
Oar struggle has no sense if we do 
not defend this basic socialist princi- 

The apparently confused and am- 
biguous nature of the early moves 
against the Cuban Trotskyists, the 
"cat and mouse" character of the 
whole repression, is an indication of 
the variety of powerful forces acting 
on the Cuban leadership and elements 
within it, that prevent it from acting 
as a unified and free agent. Some of 
the T.-otskyists were detained and re- 
leased several times before their final 
arrests; while three were being held 
for months without charges or any 
sigrn of release, their modest press was 
permitted to continue publication. Sev- 
'cral of those that are in prison, for 
clearly political reasons, have been ap- 
pointed Political Instructors in their 
respective prisons! They have not been 
sent to the prisons for counter-revolu- 
tionaries, but to those for "workers 
who make mistakes." Also, while the 
Ministry of Labor was ruling in favor 
of re-instating the worker fired from 
his job, his comrades were being sent 
to jail. 

Robert Williams 
Also indicative of the recent state 
of affairs in Cuba is the experience of 
Robert Williams, the black revolu- 
tionist in exile to escape the racist 
FBL He said he had been prevented 

from broadcasting his "Radio Fr«e 
Dixie" program for several weeks and 
also wasn't able to publish his news- 
letter^ "The Crusader," during that 
period, and was having his mail inter- 
rupted. Those responsible for this are 
the "Amigos de Cuba," a gi'oup of ex- 
patriate American Stalinists residing 
in Cuba. They have been hostile to 
Williams' militant stand on self-de- 
fense and black revolution, favoring 
instead "nonviolence," as does the 
CPUSA. If anything the "Amigos" ar« 
worse than their counterparts in the 
CPUSA because in Cuba they hav« 
influence. They circulate rumors that 
Williams, in fact, represents only a 
tiny group in the U.S. and has no 
following. They have repeatedly at- 
tempted to compel Williams and his 
wife, Mabel, to lend their names to 
one or another of their pacifist proj- 

Behind the Repressions 
These repressions are a manifesta- 
tion of a distinct shift to the right by 
the Cuban leadership, adopting the 
"peaceful coexistence" line, with the 
corresponding strengthening of the 
most conservative, conciliatory trends 
and forces within the Government, rep- 
resented generally by the sector made 
up of the leadefs of the old PSP (Cu- 
ban Communist party) and a whole 
layer of new elements in the admin- 

It is a rule in the class struggle that 
a shift to the right by an organiza- 
tion or a government is generally ac- 
companied by an attack on its left. The 
arrests of the Trotskyists started 
around the time of Castro's trip to the 
Soviet Union, where he agreed to sup- 
port the Russians in the Sino-Soviet 
dispute in exchange for the vital sta- 
ble sugar price. (See: "Cas?tro in Mos- 
cow, Spart AGIST #1.) After his re- 
turn Castro arranged the interview 
with The New York Times where he 
indicated his willingness to take a 
step back from any revolutionary role 
in Latin America, among other con- 
cessions, in return for a relaxing of 
pressure by the United States. All the 
developments of the past year or so 
have taken place against a general 
right turn throughout Latin America: 
Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina, Chile, 
and now Bolivia. 

The suppression of the Cuban Trot- 
skyists marks a dangerous milestone 
in the development of the Cuban Rev- 
olution. It should be of particular con- 
cern to those uncritical supporters and 
"friends" of the Revolution who, in 
the last five years, have seized on one 
substitute after another as "trends 
toward democratization." These attacks 
on a critical political tendency fully 
in support of the Revolution, are, in 
fact, an attack on the historical neces- 
sity and absolute right of the Cuban 

working masses to exercise political 
control of their State (not Fidel's or 
Raul's or Che's). Workers' democracy 
is not just a question of "forms" or 
an abstract social concept. In a work- 
ers' state with a nationalized and plan- 
ned economy the centralized adminis- 
tration of such an economy involves 
above all political questions and not 
just technical-economic ones, therefore, 
of necessity, demanding the greatest 
participation of the working people 
of the country. 

✓ V 

For a thorough elaboration of the 
critical relationship between work- 
ers' participation and vital economic 
questions, readers are referred to a 
perceptive analysis of Cuban politi- 
cal life by Adolfo Gilly, "Inside the 
Cuban Revolution," in the October 
1964 Monthly Review. 

\ r 

At every major stage in the devel- 
opment of the Cuban Revolution if has 
been the working masses of the coun- 
try that have taken the initiative and 
the Castro leadership that has re- 
sponded or reacted to this pressure. ^ 
The first Agrarian Reform merely cod- 
ified and limited what, had already 
taken place in the countryside. The 
wave of occupations of factories in 
1959 was the basis of the later na- 
tionalizations; the action taken against 
Anibal, Escalante (without the benefit, 
incidentally, of any democratic proce- 
dure and with the concurrence of the 
leadership of the Soviet Union) was 
admitted by Castro to be in response 
to enormous pressure from below. 
However, what this "pressure" lacks 
is a conscious, organized expression, 
i.e., a revolutionary party. This, plus 
the fact that the Castro leadership 
showed itself to be very sensitive and 
responsive to the drive from below, 
explains why the Cuban working peo- 
ple stopped mid-way, acceding the po- 
litical control of their state to the 
Castro leadership. Now the right of 
the country's worker and peasant 
masses to organize such a party, to 
create the political instruments to ex- 
press their opinions, has been rudely 
denied by that same leadership. 

Needs of the Revolution 
To survive, the Cuban workers' 
state rrmst break out of its political 
and economic isolation and its cor- 
rupting dependence on the Soviet Un- 
ion. The narrow nationalist ideology 
has to be discarded and replaced by 
a revolutionary foreign policy, build- 
ing and providing leadership and as- 
sistance to the revolutionary movement 
throughout Latin America. The over« 

lAiHIAtY-FmUAKY 19tf 


throw of capitalism and the establish- 
ment of workers' states in Venezuela, 
Bolivia, and Chile are very much on 
the agenda and represent the only 
effective way to smash Cuba's present 
isolation. "Peaceful coexistence" not 
only is no solution but presents a ma- 
jor threat to Cuba, representing, 'more 
than anything else, an attempt by a 
large section of the capitalist world 
to influence the Revolution from the 
inside, seeking to indirectly create 
conditions for the development of the 
most conservative, bureaucratic trend 
in tfa» Cubans leadership. 

The formation of a conscious, revo- 
lutionary party — ^the instrument cru- 
cial to such a development; the estab- 
lishment of Soviets, genuine workers' 
councils, i.e., those representative bod- 
ies of self-government that in a Avork- 
ers' democracy express the will of the 
working masses, would result in the 
widest participation of the Cuban 
workers and farmers in the leadership 
of their state, with the free discussion 
and rich democratic, political life that 
marked the early years of the Russian 
Revolution. Such a development would 
have a profound effect on the working 
populations of the capitalist countries, 
exposing all the lies and slanders of 
their governments concerning ,the Cu- 
ban Revolution. In addition, this would 
provide a powerful impetus to the 
working masses of the other deformed 
workers' states to get rid of their own 
bureaucracies and take control of their 
state, continuing what was begun in 
East Germany in 1953 and Poland and 
Hungary in 1956. Neither the leaders 
of these states nor the capitalist gov- 
ernments, though each for their own 
reasons, are at all interested in seeing 
socialist democracy established in 
Cuba, providing, for Cuba, a danger- 
ous intersection of interests. 

The questions of workers democracy 
and of building the revolutionary par- 
ty are completely lost upon a wide 
layer of "friends of Cuba," not least 
the Majority of the Socialist Workers 
Party. Bluntly, the truth is that such 
people are not in reality for workers' 
democracy. Their reasoned apologetics 
represent nothing but a fake search 
for fake substitutes. They invariably 
identify with the elitist leadership it- 
self, and betray in fact a contempt for 
mass rule, with various excuses that 
the working masses are "insufficiently 
educated" or "inexperienced" or "back- 
ward" or "stupid" or anything else 
except entirely capable of controlling 
their own state and society. Another 
variation of the same theme is that 
the working people don't really "de- 
serve" to rule, since most of the "real" 
fighting was done by Castro and the 
guerillas. With their "uncritical sup- 

port" they join the ranks of those con- 
servative forces within the Revolution 
and the capitalist and so-called social- 
ist advocates of "peaceful coexistence" 
outside that have no desire to have 
the weaknesses of the Cuban Revolu- 
tion exposed, criticized, and corrected, 
since they themselves view them as 
favorable tendencies. 

The last time anyone in the SWP 
undertook an ostensible "defense" of 
the Cuban Trotskyists, the Cubans 
could have probably done better with- 
out it. That was in the summer of 1962 
when Joseph Hansen, in his usual role 
of hatchet-man, wrote a series of ar- 
ticles for the Militant in reply to sland- 
ers of Trotskyism by Bias Roca in 
Hoy. The section dealing with the 
Cuban comrades (Part 2, August 13) 
consists essentially of a more direct 
attack on the Cuban Trotskyists, in 
the guise of exposing Bias Roca's dis- 
tortions of their positions. In the arti- 
cle, Hansen refers to them as a "min- 
or" tendency outside the "mainstream 
of world Trotskyism" (i.e., the cen- 
trist SWP) ; they were "ultra-leftists" 
that "added to the Complications fac- 
ing the central leadership" ; whereas 
they, the SWP, could justifiably be 
called "Fidelistas" says Hansen. The 
proposals of the Cuban T^^otskyists 
were "bizarre or Utopian" and could 
lead to disaster if put into effect. He 
refers contemptuously to their criti- 
cisms of Castro as seeking to qualify 
Castro as a "simon-pure Marxist- 
Leninist" before entrusting him with 
"the red charter." This despicable at- 
tack by an unprincipled, centrist, op- 
portunist goes on ad nauseum, reveal- 
ing the SWP leadership in a position 
of obsequious adulation of the Cuban 
leadership in power, with whom they 
clearly identify and sympathize, at- 
tacking their nominal comrades in 
order to prove who the "good Trotsky- 
ists" are. 

Since the recent waves of arrests 
starting in. November, 1963, the SWP 
has been conspicuously mute in its 
press, too craven in its search for "re- 
spectability" to accept public responsi- 
bility for what is in fact its position, 
preferring instead to give a nod of 
approval to the supression Of the Cu- 
ban Trotskyists by maintaining a dis- 
creet silence. However, Barry Shep- 
pard, YSA National Chairman, and 
member of the SWP National Commit- 
tee, recently filled the breach. At a 
New York SWP public meeting, while 
acting as moderator of a panel dis- 
cussion by several students just re- 
turned from Cuba, there was a ques- 
tion from the floor requesting com- 
ment on the fate of the Cuban Trot- 
skyists. Sheppard intercepted the ques- 
tion and replied, "There are Trotsky- 
ists and there are Trotskyists. But, if 
/ were in Cuba / wouldn't be arrested. 

A spokesman of Spabtacist took the 
floor to heartily agree with Brother 

Deepen the Revolution 
The Cuban Revolution must replace 
its present nationalist, "peaceful co- 
existence" ideology. Its strangling eco- 
nomic and political dependence on the 
Soviet Union, with a revolutionary 
foreign policy, an-orientation to the 
Latin American Revolution, to con- 
cretely building and giving leadership 
to the Revolutionary Movement in 
Latin America as part of a world 
movement. Internally, the establish- 
ment of genuine workers democracy, 
building Soviets — workers' councils — 
elected representative organs of work- 
ers' power, and restoration of the rich 
internal life that is vital for any rev- 
olutionary movement in defeating bu- 
reaucracy. Make all Government Min- 
isters responsible to Workers' Couiu 

To begin these tasks that mean life 
or death to the Cuban Revolution, it 
is necessary first to build the instru- 
ment capable of waging this fight — a 
conscious revolutionary party that will 
be, in fact, the vanguard party, antici- 
pating the course of events and the 
needs of the Revolution, and leading 
the Struggle. 

Defend the Cuban Trotskyists! 
At this point, a vital link in this re- 
armament of the Cuban Revolution, is 
for the Cuban Trotskyists tq win free- 
dom and complete vindication, as part 
of the right of all political tendencies 
supporting the Revolution to freedom 
of expression. It is imperative, there- 
fore, that all supporters of the Cuban 
Revolution, all those that have not 
forgotten the grotesque results of for- 
ty years of apologies or silence con- 
cerning similar events in the Soviet 
Union, send protests to the Cuban 
Government demanding the immediate 
release of the Cuban Trotskyists! In 
the United States letters may be sent 
to: Prime Minister Fidel Castro Ruz, 
c/o Cuban Mission to the United Na- 
tions, 5 East 67th Street, New York, 
New York 10021. A.S. ■ 

The Great Betrayal 

By Gerry Healy 

24 pages — 25^ a copy 

Order from Spart/'^tst 
Box 1377, G.P.O.-New York, N.Y. 10001 

16 — 




The National (■ommittoe of the Young Socialist Alli- 
ance expelled eight YSA membei's at its Labor Day 
vveekend plenary meeting. Three of the expelled had 
been previously suspended for public activity as Sparta- 
cists following their earlier ideological expulsion from 
the Socialist Workers Party. 

Spartacist Proscribed 

What is really remarkable about the YSA's group 
expulsion are the implications of the key section of 
the NC's (ixpulsion motion which promulgated a new 
general policy: 'Mcmbcrftlnp in, support to, or col- 
labnraliou irith the Sparlucint group is inc<ivipaiit>le 
with membrn^hip in the YSA." This motion singles out 
the Spartacists as a proscribed group — the only such 
in the history of the YSA — and in flat contradiction 
with the YSA C( iistitution which declares: 

"Membership in the YSA is open to those young, 
people who agree with the Statement of Purpose 
and who accept the program and policies of the 
YSA, rcfiaidlens of vievibers}iip or nov-member- 
sliip iv a)i!f adult socialist party." (Article III, 
Section 1. emphasis added) i 

Most serious foi- the future of the YSA is that not 
only has a group been proscribed, but so have its ideas. 
In the now policy motion, when one subtracts the mean- 
ing of both "membership in" and "collaboration with" 
the Spartacist group, the only sense in which the also 
banned "sui>p(n't to" Spartacist can be taken is as 
pnlitienl agreement. This it- indeed the case as was 
proved by the selection of that five of the eight, who 
had been giv(-ii no tiial at all (nor in most cases even 
notice that action against them was pending). What 
the five had ail shared in common was having voted 
for left-wing delegates to last year's YSA Convention. 
The YSA leadership singled them out as known or 
believed sympathetic with what had become, in the 
intervening pei iod, the Spartacist group. In plain lan- 
guage this is called a purge. Here is the real measure 
for such cynical declarations as the one in the subse- 
quent October Young Sorinlist that: "As an independ- 
ent and donioci-atic socialist' youth organization, the 
YSA guarantees to all its members the right to' freely 
express their political ideas and to share fully in all 
political and organi/.ational decisions." 

Appeal to Convention 

Revolutionists do not simply acquiesce to unilateral 
organizational exclusiciiis in the face of continuing, un- 
resolved lack of political clarity. The SWP and YSA 
continue to call themselves Trotskyist, thereby reflect- 
ing the unfinished, centrist quality of their rightward 
motion. For this reason I'epresentatives of the expelled 
comrades are seeking to make an appeal before the 
forthcoming YSA National Convention, where, by 
rights, they should be pai'ticipants. In addition to re- 
versal of the YSA expulsions, the Convention will be 
asked to call upon the SWP to likewise reinstate those 
expelled from, the party — and thus wipe out the imme- 
diate frictions and problems created by the waves of 
expulsions with the expelled necessarily giving public 

EXPELLED FOR IT. Shirley Stoute does volunteer 
labor tn Cuban supar cane field. SWP expelled her 
for going on travel-ban-breaking trip last summer. 

expression to their views and criticisms as in the 

Witch Hunt Continues in SWP 

One of those expelled at the YSA plenum, comrade 
Shirley Stoute, until then a member of the YSA Na- 
tional and National Executive Committees, had a par- 
(Continued on Page 3) 



50c - ONE YEAR - 50c 


Street _ 

City . - Zone State 

(Please PRINT Plainly) 
Send to SPARTACIST. Box 1377. G.P. O. 
New York. N. Y. 10001 

[early 1965] 



Q. The U.S. Government says that its air raids above the 17th 
parallel were 'reprisals' for North Vietnamese attacks on U.Si mili- 
tary forces. Is_ th ere any truth to that assertion ? 

A. None. Immediately after the first raids the New York Times 
(2/8) pointed out that the U.S. defeat at Pleiku had been inflicted 
by a relatively small National Liberation Front (NLF) force, helped 
by the local population and using captured, U.S. manufactured, mor- 
tars. Moreover, as the Times also spelled out, the raids were staged 
from an extraordinary TasK Force which had been assembled and ready 
for action before the so-called 'provocation,' 

Q. Were these raids, then, a military measure designed to cut 
off Northern aid to the NLF? 

A. While the North Vietnamese government, to its credit, 

has indeed given aid to the NLF, that aid cannot be held d ecisive in 
the guerilla struggle in South Vietnam. The soldiers of the NLF are 
natives of the Southern half of their country, they are mainly armed 
with captured weapons, and their greatest strength lies in the support 
of the Sou-ch Vietnamese peasantry. Even the U.S. military admits that 
the m.ajority of the Southern population lives in areas governed by the 
NLF, Bombings in the North in no way alter these facts, and they 
won't even stop the aid that is still getting through. 

Q. What, then, is the real reason for these raids? 

A. As we saw, the U.S. government falsely claims that it is try- 
ing to make the North Vietnamese stop 'intervening' in South Vietnam. 
The reality is the exact opposite: t^he^ w ant to force Hanoi _to inter - 
vene in rest r aint of the NLF . The basic fact which has now been 
spelled ouc in the headlines is that the U.S. military's dirty little 
war in Vietnam is alrea dy lost. The South Vietnamese 'army' is now 
effective only to overthrow fictitious Saigon 'governments,' The U,S. 
forces in Vietnam are confronted with the prospect of destruction in 
a series of local Dienbienphus « Unless the NLF c^n somehow be per- 
suaded not to exploit its advantage the U,S. position will soon 

Q. But how can Johnson hope that these raids will have that 

A, These raids are intended to make 'credible' a deadly threat: 
the threat to extend the war, to level the cities of North Vietnam, 
to send the U.S. Army into Vietnam on a Korea scale, to attack China, 
The U,^. government l_s implying thiat there are no lim its to the crimes 
against hum anity tha t it _wlll co mmit in order to retain its imperial - 
ist ^rl£ ove r S outheast A^sia. This is what the Washington cliche 
'negotiate from positions of strength' actually means. The only 
'position of strength' left to them is the threat of thermonuclear war. 
We are all, personally, being threatened by these people. 

Q. What is the alternative? 

A. The U.S. Army must get out of Vietnam, must get out uncondi- 
tionally, must get out now. The U.S. government has nothing legitimate 
to say about the future of Vietnam, It has no right to Impose 'neutral- 
ization' as a condition for withdrawal. It has no right to 'negotiate' 
the life and death of Asians. Hands off Vletnaml Only this course Is 
In the Interest of American working people and our Vietnamese brothers. 

The following Is the text of a cablegram to Ho Chi Mlnh regard- ' 
Ing the air strikes by the U.S. against North Vietnamese targets: 





SPARTACIST— Box 1377, G.P.O,^ New York, N.Y. 10001 





Report to Our Readers ; 



On February 8, the editor of the SPARTACIST, James Robertson, 
was subpoenaed to appear before the New York State Grand Jury which 
Is seeking a communist conspiracy behind last summer' s so-called 
Harlem Riots. A New York City red squad cop served the subpoena 
while Robertson was In a picket line protesting this witch-hunting 
Grand Jury. Comrade Robertson was "commanded to appear before the 
Grand Jury' on Monday, February I5, but the Jury was unable to get 
a quorum so he was called back for Wednesday, two days later. 

The Involvement of the Spartaclst group was the first widening 
of the Inquiry beyond the Progressive Labor Movement. We stated In 
our New York Spartaclst Committee leaflet calling for a protest 
demonstration against the Grand Jury the apparent motives of the 
authorities In picking out the Spartaclst group for legal entangle- 
ment along with the PLM: 

'The SPARTACIST editor has been dragged Into the witch hunt 
because of our detailed exposure of the police over the riots 
last summer; our determined defense of Bill Epton and 
Progressive Labor against legal Intimidation and persecution; 
and our Initiation last summer of the militant Harlem Soli- 
darity Committee which rallied working class support In New 

(continued next page) 

INSIDE; —Spartaclst Statement on Viet Nam 

—Leaflet to New York Welfare Strikers 


York's garment center for the people of Harlem during the 
police riots," 

Pro.lected Policy As a Witness 

The Spartacist group is fortunate in having as its attorneys 
Conrad Lynn and his partner. Gene Ann Condon, with whom an effective 
and principled set of guide lines was worked out for the Grand Jury 

As a general consideration, one must expect that testimony will 
find its way into the hands of the FBI and other police agencies, 
there to be used for the harassment of people, loss of Jobs, etc. 
In addition, in a case where "conspiracy to advocate" indictments 
are being sought, the mere mention in the most innocent circumstances 
of another individual places that person in grave Jeopardy. 

At the same time the Spartacist group has no reason or desire 
to conceal either its political views or its actions. Quite the 
contrary; should its officers be sent to Jail for refusal to testify, 
we want it crystal clear that such punishment is exclusively for 
refusal to drag in the names of innocent people or to render false 

Using the policy arrived at as a guide, Robertson made several 
valuable points in the course of his appearance before the Grand Jury: 

(1) Robertson has never heard Bill Epton advocate acts of violence 
and terrorism; moreover, since Comrade Epton is a declared Marxist 
such advocacy would be in fundamental contradiction to his beliefs. 

(2) This likewise applies concerning the two other officers of PL, 
Milton Rosen and Fred Jerome. 

(3) By contrasting the reality of the Harlem Solidarity Committee 
with the lurid testimony of Red Squad cop Fritz 0. Behr before the 
State Supreme Court last summer, Behr' s credibility as a witness is 
undermined . 

(4) The New York City cops, not communists, provoked the riots last 

Still Threatened 

While Robertson was prepared to himself surrender his right to 
silence under the Fifth Amendment by answering any legitimate ques- 
tion, his rights were taken away by his being granted "immunity 
from prosecution" for his non-existent part in starting the Harlem 
Riots. During the hearing Assistant DA Joseph Phillips, who runs 
the interrogations before this Grand Jury, chose not to ask Robertson 
any irrelevant or improper question for which refusal to answer must 
be made. However, it is by no means certain that the authorities 
are through with the Spartacist group. In the current atmosphere, 
intensified by an alleged Statue of Liberty bomb plot and the very 
real assassination of Malcolm X, Robertson or others may again be 
called before this Jury or legally harassed in other ways. 

It Is N ecessary To Pightl 

The defense of Bill Epton, charged with criminal anarchy, and 
of the others Jailed for contempt. Indicted or threatened Is an 
unavoidable responsibility for all those who call themselves radicals 
or militants or simple civil libertarians. 

The Epton case contains many crucial opportunities, any one of 
which alone would be Important: 

— to throw back In the face of the "liberal" Wagner machine 
Its attempt to make the PLM and others the "Harlem Riot" scapegoats; 

— to place the blame for the "riots" where it belongs — on a 
provocative police force goading the poverty-stricken and oppressed; 

— to affirm the right of the Negro people in the Northern 
ghettos to organize with leaders of their own choosing; 

— to stop the use of the Grand Jury as a pure and simple witch 
hunting device — one which has already Jailed CCNY coeds and others 
having no relationship to Harlem and which threatens many more; 

— to smash the "criminal anarchisn)" law as the threat to civil 
liberties it is. 

For more information about what you can do to he-lp the Epton 
case and to contribute financially, write the defense organization. 
Committee to Defend Resistance to Ghetto Life, CERGE for short, 
at: Room SlJ, 1 Union Square, New York, N.Y, lOOOS. 





17 APRIL ins 


The facts about the war in Vietnam are 
now generally known. Everyone is aware 
that the U.S. government is carrying on 
a war against peasant-supported guer- 
rillas, and is supporting a series of un- 
popular governments; it is now obvious 
that the U.S. is losing that war. Three 
questions remain to be answered: Why 
was the U.S. in Vietnam in the first 
place? Why did it attack North Vietnam? 
What solution to the Vietnamese situa- 
tion should we support? 

Why Is the U.S. in Vietnam? 

The foreign policy of the U.S. govern- 
ment, everywhere, at all times and re- 
gardless of which party is in power, has 

been to preserve the interests of Ameri- 
can capitalism abroad. With no major 
financial investments in Indochina, the 
U.S. was at first reluctant to become in- 
volved in the war. It was not until after 
the Chinese Revolution in 1949 that the 
United States began substantial support 
to the French effort. The Chinese Revo- 
lution tore out of the world capitalist 
economy one of the choice arenas for 
American capital investment. This loss, 
coupled with the example China gave to 
all other colonial nations, was a warn- 
ing to United States ruling circles to 
take measures to curb the expansion of 
the colonial revolution. American inter- 
vention in Vietnam was, therefore, part 
and parcel of the strategy of waging 
ceaseless war against struggles for eco- 
nomic and political independence by the 
Asian peoples, most directly influenced 
by the Chinese Revolution. 

This war is waged in alliance with lo- 
cal landlords and capitalists. Most land- 
lords in Vietnam, as in most colonial 
countries, are urban or foreign business- 
men who have invested capital in land. 
The peasants cannot take land away from 
the landlords without overturning the 
entire capitalist economic structure. Sup- 
port for agrarian reform in Vietnam di- 
rectly conflicts with U.S. defense of cap- 
italism and lines the peasants up against 
foreign imperialists as well as the native 
capitalist landlords. Therefore the strug- 
gle becomes anti-imperialist. The weak- 
ness of the capitalist-landlord class has 
forced it to look for foreign allies in its 
struggle against the peasants. As the 
self-appointed policeman for the entire 
capitalist world, the U.S. has allied it- 
self with these capitalist-landlord ele- 
ments in order to use South Vietnam as 
a strategic base in Southeast Asia. De- 
spite their differences, the U.S. govern- 
ment and Vietnamese property owners 
have in common their defense of capital- 
ism. In accord with the "domino" theory, 

the U.S. government maintains that the 
"fall" of Vietnam would "endanger" 
other areas — of course, it is quite cor- 
rect. The "danger" will come when the 
masses in these other areas realize their 
strength and overthrow their ruling 
classes, as they will, inspired by the ex- 
ample of revolutionary victory in Viet- 

Why Did the U.S. AtUcli North Vietnam? 

The U.S. government falsely claims 
that it wants to make the Northern gov- 
ernment stop intervening in S. Vietnam. 
But while the Hanoi government, to its 
credit, has given aid to the National Lib- 
eration Front, that aid cannot be held 
decisive in the struggle. In fact, the 
truth of the situation is the exact oppo- 
site of the U.S. claim: by threatening 
to level the cities of North Vietnam, the 
U.S. government wants to force Hanoi 

/ s 





> /' 

to intervene in restraint of the NLF . 
The basic fact which has now been 
spelled out in the headlines is that the 
U.S.'s dirty war in Vietnam is already 
lost. Unless the NLF can somehow be 
persuaded not to exploit its advantage 
the U.S. position will soon collapse. 

What Solution Should We Support? 

Providing the U.S. can be deterred 
from expansion of the war into North 
Vietnam and perhaps attacking China, 
the real courses of action open to the 
American government are either a ne- 
gotiated or unconditional withdrawal. 

There are those who urge the U.S. 
government to negotiate a "neutral" 
Vietnam, ruled by a "coalition" govern- 
ment. This would mean attempting to 
get the NLF leadership to sell out the 
Vietnamese working people by accept- 
ing a solution that would leave the prop- 
erty-owning classes undisturbed. But the 
dynamic of the struggle in Vietnam is 
the struggle against these classes and 

their American allies. Thus a "neutral" 
solution to the war would be at the ex- 
pense of the peasantry and against their 
wishes. Senator Morse has proposed 
feme form of neutralization to be guar- 
anteed by the policing of an internation- 
al body such as the UN. But the side 
that the UN takes in these situations is 
determined by the fact that the UN is 
still controlled by the United States in 
the last analysis, as proven by its role 
in the misnamed "peace keeping" oper- 
ation in the Congo. The simple fact is 
that there is a sti-uggle between con- 
tending classes in South Vietnam which 
is not going to be stopped by such an 
outside force. There can be no real 
neutrality between the gouging landlord 
and the revolutionary peasant, between 
the revolutionary worker and the luxury- 
loving imperialist agent who exploits 
him. In such situations no international 
body can be a "peace keeping" force but 
will inevitably tend to take sides in the 
internal class conflict. Thus neutraliza- 
tion as a solution to the problem is 
neither desirable nor — as the example of 
neighboring Laos proves — possible. 

To withdraw all U.S. troops and leave 
Vietnam for the Vietnamese is the only 
solution which will end the war in Viet- 
nam and bring about a progressive sol- 
ution to the social problems facing the 
Vietnamese people. In 1954 the Viet 
Minh controlled virtually the whole 
country, having decisively defeated the 
French. However, at the conference table 
in Geneva, the Russian and Chinese 
governments signed an accord giving 
half of Vietnam back to the imperialists, 
on the basis of a U.S.-backed promise to 
hold free elections in 1956. This sell-out 
must not be allowed to happen again. 
Self-determination for the Vietnamese 
people requires the immediate, complete, 
unconditional withdrawal of all U.S. 
forces! ■ 



Rox 1377. G.P.O. 
N*w York. N. Y. 10001 

twelve issues — $1 
six issues — 50(i 



City . 



The capitalist Establishment Is subjecting the welfare 
workers to one o-f the most Intense education processes you can 
undergo — a hard-fought strike. Learn from Itt Use the lessons 
to win the strike and guide your future actions. 

Y our Enemies 

Most of you probably voted for the hypocritical Wa p;ner 
Ad mini s tra t ion > By now it is kicking in an open door to point 
out that by the test of deeds , not words, the most "Liberal and 
left-wing" New York City Democratic machine is a crass and cor- 
rupt agency of the capitalist class against you. 

The metropolitan press has done Its duty as expected, from 
the Daily News ' sensationalizing a fake story of strikers 
breaking a lady scab's leg to the dignified anti-strike line 
of the N>Y. Times . 

Behind the politicians and the kept press stand the courts 
and the police , whose humane Impartiality has to be directly 
experienced to be fully appreciated (ask around in Harlem). Do 
not be lulled into any false sense of security about the police. 
If the occasion arises they will behave savagely. The forces 
of "law and order" are the repository of the ultimate sanction 
of force against you: to Jail your leaders, break your picket 
lines, smash your strike. 

Your 'Friends ' 

Those who profess to have at heart the best interests of 
the welfare staff are a motley collection* Roy W il kins of the 
NAACP, acting as Wagner' s pawn, has managed to come up with an 
incredible accusation that the strikers, in good part Negro and 
Jewish, are themselves white racists and anti-semites , 

Ba yard Rustln and' associated respectable radical celebrities 
like "Michael Harrington and Norman Thomas have favored you with 
support and advice. Beware I The Civil Rights movement is today 
a shambles, stopped dead in its tracks, through the action of 
men such as these in confining the Negro struggle within limits 
acceptable to the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. 

From the official labor leadership Paul Hall and the N.Y. 
Central Labor Council invited themselves in to partake of the 
direction of your strike. Everyone having the slightest famil- 
iarity with the life and history of Hall's Seafarers International 
Union, or who recalls the shabby role of the Labor Council in' 
undermining the last teachers' strike, must treat this support 
with the greatest reserve and caution. 


You and Y our Leadership 

The outetanding militancy, unitv;^_ and detgrmination shown 
by the workers on strike is literally your greatest weapon to 
win from the City substantial galni in vjcrklng conditions and 
wages. Your solidarity has managed so far to stave off the use 
of force against you| it has made nought ef slanders by the 
press and Wagner^s hirelingS| it compels the City administration 
to bargain with youe Your strength hms gcs far permitted you 
to make more use of youi' ''well-wishers" then they of you,» It 
has brought you financial support and picket line participation 
from other unions and Is the key to what |rou need most from 
the labor movement--sin:ple respect Tor your picket lines . 

Only when you are eetuelly stx'ikir.g can your strength be 
felt. That- is i^fhy every proposal by the VfagneF maehins centers 
on your return to work. Once you are back on the job^ the 
employed. aiiromaticall^ has the aSvfentage in dealing with "you " " 
and your demands. To win the strike, your return to work 
must hinge upon significant, tangible gains and without any 
kind of victimization of the strikers. 

Your ov;n leaders, inexperienced, on entering into this 
strike, have suddenly found themselves the objects of enormous 
pressures, many-sided and some even subtle, to push them into 
unwarVanfced concessions. Your vl gi lance and will-to-win rein- 
force your leac3ership» 

Not for Yoursel ves Alonel 

Victory in this strike equals a powerful union in the 
Wel*fare Department; but the gains will not be yours alone* Very 
directly the welfare clients, all other N.Y* City employees, 
and welfare workers across the country will benefit. Most 
broadly, winning this strike will stimulate militant organizatioi 
generally among government and white-collar workers by showing 
that laws such as Condon-Wadlin prohibiting strikes against 
the government" can be smashed in action. 

Labor Party 

Prom your strike experience the need should be obvious for 
a political party of labor to replace the obscenity of the Demo- 
cratic Party' doing the job of the racist capitalist class while 
receiving the support of the working people. A mayoralty cam- 
paign is coming soon in New York— •Ijet" 3 have a Labor-Negro 
candidate runnl ng_ a gainst Wagner and the Democratic Party I 

Class Struggle and You 

The real nature and relationship of social forces so openly 
revealed by the Welfare strike is only accountable in terras of 
class struggle. The other side has always known and used this 
fact of life. Marxism is nothing else than that systematic 
understanding such tnat our side will not each time have to 
learn all over again and never go beyond a few elementary lesson; 

Instead, the aim of the Marxists is to apply accumulated experi- 
ence and wisdom to each fight and relate each to the broadest 
revolutionary aims and social goals. 

N.y.C, Spartacist Committee 
18 January 1965 


(The next issue will feature an analysis Qf the Welfiare 


Enoiosed is: ll.OO for twelve IsBuep (two years ) / T 
$0.50 for six Isfueai (one year) // 

Nam e ^ 


return to| 

Box 1377, a.P.u. 
New York, N.Y, 10001 

The Student Revolt at Berkeley . . . Page 8 



Hands off the Vietnam Revolution! 

statement of the International Committee of the 
Fourth International on U.S. actions in Vietnam, 
adopted on February 21, 1965. 

The Internaticnal Committee of the Fourth Inter- 
national condemns the large-scale bombing attacks in 
North Vietnam by the U.S. imperialists in early Feb- 
ruary 1965. 

These actions are counter-revolutionary reprisals 
against the rapidly approafching complete victory of the 
revolution in South Vietnam. 

The International Committee is in complete solidar- 
ity with the workers and peasants in Vietnam and the 
Viet Cong (liberation army) in their revolution against 
the corrupt capitalist regime in Saigon and its impe- 
rialist supporters. The interests of the working people 
in South-east Asia cannot be realized until the last 
vestige of imperialist intervention is removed. 

Cynical Betrayal 

The International Committee calls for the unrelent- 
ing support of the workers of all countries for the 
liberation army and for the actions of the Vietnamese 
workers, whose aim is to expel the American forces 
from South Vietnam and all imperialist forces from 
South-east Asia. 

In this struggle for national liberation, the workers 
will find the road to their own power in these countries. 
Their struggles are part, of the world socialist revolu- 

The successful conclusion of the civil war in South 
Vietnam will complete the revolutionary victory at 
Dien Bien Phu in 1954. Th^t victory demolished French 
imperialist rule over Indo-China, but the victory was 
cynically betrayed by the Stalinist bureaucracy in the 
Geneva Agreement of July 1954 which partitioned 
Vietnam. The pretext for this "compromise" was that 
only this type of settlement could avoid nuclear war in 
the atomic age. 

Subsequently the Geneva provisions for "free elec- 
tions" and national unification have bepn ignored by 
the South Vietnamese dictatorship which has received 
the support of U.S. imperialism: the American forces 
in Vietnam are now 24,000 troops, together with a 
large naval and air striking force. 

Meanwhile, the British Conservative and Labour gov- 
ernments alike have built up imperialist forces in 

Even this, however, has failed to prevent the present 
situation, where Saigon governments fall every few days 

and the Viet Cong controls 80 per cent of South Vietnam. 

The counter-revolutionary reprisals of the Pentagon 
aim to intimidate the peoples of South-east Asia and 
particularly the workers and peasants of Vietnam and 
of the Chinese* Peoples' Republic. 

Threatening "escalation" into a world nuclear con- 
flict, Johnson and the U.S. ruling class hope to ensure 
the collaboration of Moscow and even Peking for a 
sell-out in Vietnam,, to save whatever can be saved for 

The workers of the world and the people of Vietnam 
can have no confidence in any wing of the Stalinist 

There must be no settlement through secret diplo- 

Working Class Action 
The revolution in Vietnam will be victorious through 
the struggles of the Vietnamese workers and peasants 
backed by the solidarity actions of workers all over 
the world. 

Those "socialists" who demand recall of the Geneva 
Conference or "new diplomatic initiatives," particularly 
the Communist parties of Western Europe and the left 
wing of the British Labour Party, are advocating a new 
sell-out like Geneva in 1954. 

The present situation and its dangers, the large- 
scale bloodletting over the last 11 years, are the re- 
sults precisely of the subservience of these opportunists 
to imperialism and to the Stalinist bureaucracy in 1954. 

Now, as then, there is no way out except through the 
international working-class struggle. In every country 
and particularly in Britain and the USA, the workers 
must demand: 









—published bimonthly by supporters of the Revolutionary 
Tendency expelled from the Socialist Workers Party. 

EDITOR: James Robertson 
West Coast EDITOR: Geoffrey White 

Subscription: 50^ yearly. Bundle rates for 10 oij more copies. 
Main address: Box 1377, G.P.O., New York, N. Y. 10001. Tele- 
phone: UN 6-3093. Western address; P.O. Box 652, Berkeley, Calif. 
94701. Telephone: TH 8-7369. 

Opinions expressed in signed articles do not necessarily repre- 
sent an editorial viewpoint. 

Number 4 May-June 1965 


More on .Vietnam; 

New York, N.Y. 
15 January 1965 

The Newsletter, 
London, England: 
Dear Comrades, 

The article which appeared in the January 2 News- 
letter under the title "Vietnam : workers face 20th year 
of war" byT. Desai, was deficient in both historical 
accuracy and Marxist criticism. It refers to the "he- 
roic" struggle of Ho Chi Minh and the Indo-Chinese 
Communist Party from 1945 to 1954 without mention- 
ing that this "heroism" expressed itself in a consistent 
policy of betrayal of the revolutionary workers' and 
peasants' movement which has served only to prolong 
the war. The article does not refer to the murder of 
Trotskyists by the Communists, the disarming of the 
workers and peasants, and the handing over of the 
population to the Allied occupation forces lat^ in 1945. 

Communist policy at that time was aptly described 
by Nguyen Van Tao, a top Stalinist: "Our government, 
I repeat, is a democratic and middle class government, 
even though the Communists are now in power." 

The Trotskyists were murdered precisely because 
they stood in the way of capitulation to the Allied 
powers which then included a Soviet Union anxious not 
to displease its French ally. Thus, in Indo-China 
Stalin's policy of peaceful coexistence led to a bloodier 
and more costly conflict than would have been necessary 
had there been a Marxist and not Stalinist leadership. 

And the outcome of the war against the French was 
another capitulation ! At Geneva in 1954 the fat Soviet 
and somewhat leaner Ch'ntse bureaucracies, together 
with the. United States, Britain and France, decided 
the outcome of the war without the participation of the 
Vietnamese! The revolutionary forces, following the 
terms of the settlement imposed on them, withdrew 
from areas under their military control with the un- 
derstanding that the imperialists would permit free 
elections ! 

Thus, the retreats and betrayals of Stalinism ,haye 
been a determining factor in the nature and extent of 
the present war. 

And yet another betrayal is being prepared by the 
Communists in the National Liberation Front. Their 
demand for a neutral South Vietnam leaves open the 
possibility of a settlement which will leave basic prob- 
lems unsolved, and will thus require further armed 

And this treacherous policy is not criticized in the 
Newsletter article! Nor is there mention of the neces- 
sity for building a Marxist party which will lead the 
struggle not for neutralism, but for a Vietnamese 
workers' republic. 

What has happened to the Permanent Revolution? 
Do we now put our faith in Stalinists and petty-bour- 
geois nationalists? It is a Marxist's responsibility to 
expose the inadequacy of the program, as well as the 
treachery of the leaders, which have led the masses 
to suffering and defeat. The article by P. Desai in 
The Newsletter, however, fails in this respect. Instead, 
it leaves us with confidence in those same forces which 
have several times betrayed the Vietnamese workers 
and peasants, and are once again preparing a similar 
tragedy. I trust that this article does not reflect the 
editorial policy of The Newsletter. . 

P. Jen 


The following cablegram was sent on the day the 
U.S. air attacks against North Vietnam were begun: 



Havana, Cuba 

We would like to thank you for the copy of your 
telegram to President Ho-ehi-Minh that you kindly sent 

We, South Vietnamese, specially are deeply moved 
by the heroic and powerful movement of American Ne- 
groes, students, workers, employees and personalities 
demanding the end of the aggressive war of US impe- 
rialism in South Vietnam and of the US attacks against 
the territory of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, 
and supporting the just struggle of our people. 

We would like to [take] this opportunity to express 
[to] you our deepest thanks and to send you our bo-^t 


[South Vietnam National 
Liberation Front] 


Responses to st*ARTACIST No. 3: 

N«w York, N.Y. 

The analysis in the January-February, 1965 issue 
of Spartacist of the Harlem 1964 events, is the best 
study in depth that I have read. 

Enclosed please find my check for one dollar so you 
can send me ten more copies of that issue. 

Conrad J. Lynn 


London, England 

We would like to thank you warmly for the way you 
have made a contribution to the cause of Trotskyism 
by publishing the facts on the arrests of our Cuban 
comrades. Just as the SWP takes up a position indis- 
tinguishable from any anti-proletarian apparatus in 
relation to our Cuban comrades, so over here the de- 
igenerated "Trotskyists" have kept a complete silence 
on the subject of the arrests of the Cuban, Brazilian 
and Spanish comrades. No doubt you are aware Also 
that the "militant" SLL which has considerable re- 
sources behind it over her€ has been careful not to give 
any serious . publicity to the activities of the arrested 
comrades. There is nothing more revealing to show up 
their complete loss of Bolshevik perspectives. 

You have rendered a service to Trotskyism in the 
USA in the very citadel of Imperialism. . . . 

Revolutionary Greetings, 
Theo Melville, 
Revolutionary Workers 
P«rty [Posadas] 

Spartacist Growth t 

Houston, Texas 

We received with great interest the statement of the 
YPSL Revolutionary Tendency on the dissolution of the 
YPSL. I and the other comrades here agree with the 
statement and believe they have done the right thing in 
going into the Spartacists. We in the Workers Party of 
Texas also feel ourselves in substantial agreement with 
you. In adopting the nan^e we did not intend to imply 
that we were trying to* revive or continue the Sfaacht- 
manite formulations. If anything, we feel ourselves 
closer to the Spartacists on the question of the nature 
of the Soviet Union and the role of the Stalinist parties 
than your newest members. Very basically, there are 
only two kinds of iwoperty ownership — ^private and 
collective. Whatever its bureaucratic degenerations and 
possible deformities, the Soviet Union has achieve'd so- 
cialization of the basic means of production and dis- 
tribution. In spite of its tyranny and imperialist ac- 
tions in competition with the capitalist world market, 
the Soviet Union remains a degenerated workers' state 
that has the basic form of a socialist system, and our 
attitude toward it should be one of critical defense. 

We have been laboring under the impression that the 
Spartacist movement was more or less a tentative or- 
ganization with the perspective either of helping to 
form a larger revolutionary organization or eventually 

rejoining and revitalizing the SWP. We would be inter- 
ested in your comments on this. 

Our own plans, as we finally worked them out, have 
been to conduct the Workers Party as a political, labor, 
and social action group concentrating on Texas, and 
specifically Houston, and forming as a separate entity 
a sort of committee of correspondence to establish reg- 
ular communication among revolutionary socialists na- 
tionwide. . . . 

The dissolution of the YPSL And particularly the 
action taken by its Revolutionary Tendency have caused 
us again to reconsider our course of action. We are re- 
questing membership in the Spartacists, if this is 
.agreeable to you. We would have done so sooner, only 
we did not think that, geographically isolated as we are, 
it would be possible under the rules of discipline of the 
organization. [All our present members] are serious 
and willing to donate time and energy. We are very 
strictly disciplined and have been very selective in 
letting in members. We want no kooks or dilettantes 
and make sure we know each person before he is ad- 
mitted. We are all agreed on* all basic issues and pro- 
grams, feel very greatly the need for the formation of 
a disciplined, dedicated, revolutionary organization in 
this country, and feel we agree with the program of the 
Spartacists. . . . 

I am enclosing a copy of the Workers Party local con- 
stitution and am very anxious to hear from you soon. 



Austin, Texas 

We have considered ourselves socialists for quite 
some time, and have come to place our hopes in the 
principles of Marxism-Leninism. As Trotskyists we 
believe your group to be the most potentially effective 
radical organization around. We would like to formally 
apply for membership in Spartacist with this letter. 
... We believe that we understand the concept of dem- 
ocratic-centralism and of candidate membership. 

Since there are [several] of us applying at once from 
Austin, we would like to be given status as an organ- 
izing committee. 

Yours for the 
Fourth International 



Baltimore, Md. 

I would like to request acceptance of my application, 
for membership in Spartacist, by the Editorial Board. 

I am fully aware of the nature of Spartacist organ- 
ization, its conditions of membership, and its positions. 

I, as a Marxist-Leninist, and a follower in principle 
of Ijeon Trotsky, ana prepared to act as a dedicated 
and discipline^ member of Spartacist. I, with the Spar- 
tacist organization, look forward to the creation of a 
communist society as forged out of the struggles of the 
proletariat led by the revolutionary vanguard party. 

Comradely greetings 

The above letter is typical of a number of applicor 
tiona recently redeived from the Baltimore area. 
(Continasd Bottom Next Page) 

4 — 


Conspiracy and Treachery 
in Alabama 

From the beginning the black voter registration cam- 
paigil in the South was an assertion of potential inde- 
pendence — directed against the underlying social sys- 
fem as well as the segregationist political apparatus 
which helps maintain it. Revolutionary in implication 
because it involvedf organizing masses of black workers 
and. share-croppers in struggle, the mass character of 
the inbvemient poses a dangerous threat to the Ameri- 
can .ruling class and its politicians. Hence they use 
every means at their disposal to derail the movement 
—including sending in such kept leaders as Martin 
Luther King — to head it off and deliver it to the Demo- 
cratic Party where the job of beheading and neutraliz- 
ing it can be finished off. 

Racist Bosses Supported Mardi 

The spectacle of Northern "liberal" political bosses, 
such as Wagner and Rockefeller, shedding crocodile 
tears over the racist violence and supporting the Selma- 
to-Montgoraery march, corroborates our opinion. For 
example, Wagner's representative to the march, Deputy 
Mayor Paul Screvaire, was in direct control of the New 
York City administration last summer when thousands 
of his cops terrorized the people of Harlem for four 
days under the pretext of suppressing a "riot." And 
this was merely an intensification of the daily oppres- 
sion and intimidation of Negroes and Spanish-speaking 
minorities carried out by the "liberal" big-city ma- 
chines. (Wagner's true role was made clear a few weeks 
ago at a Catholic breakfast-rally attended by 5,600 


Death of a Comrade ; 

Loftus, Australia 

This is to advise you of the death of John P. (Jack) 
Kavanagh on July i6th 1964 in his eighty-fourth year, 
six days before his eighty-fifth birthday. 

There isn't much I can say at the moment except that 
he fought for the rights of the workers up to the last 
few weeks of his life, when he became bedridden, and 
his mental facilities collapsed. 

Wishing you success in the struggle. 

Edna L. Kavanagh 

The Workers Vanguard, a Canadian socialist paper 
for which comrade Kavan^tgh wrote, carried the follow- 
ing biographical note about him in its issue of June 

"Our correspondent from 'down under' was president 
of the Vancouver Trades Council in 1912-1913. During 
the trial of the leaders of the Winipeg General Strike 
of 1919 he was sent to England to raise funds for the 
strikers' defense. A founding member of the Canadian 
Communist Party, he went to Australia in 1925. He 
was expelled from the Australian CP in 193J!f for 
TrQtskyism." ■ 

N.Y. cops featuring ultra-rightist William F. Buckley 
as speaker. Buckley, in the course of a long invective 
against the civil-rights movement, praised the "re- 
straint" of the Alabama troopers and pleaded that they 
had been "provoked" and were justified in attacking 
the Selrha marchers with clubs, cattle-prods and tear 
gas. For this, amidst enthusiastic "stomping, whistling, 
ajid cheering" by "New York's Finest," Wagner con- 
gratulated Buckley for his "eloquence.") 

Perversion in Selma 

Through the King leadership, Lyndon Johnson man- 
aged to corral the Selma civil-rights movement into a 
virtual rally of support for himself and for these same 
racist bosses in the Democratic Party. In fact, the 
march alcquired the character of an "official" parade 
iirectly launched from Washington, with a corps of 
food and latrine trucks, doctors and nurses, swarms of 
politicians, etc., plus Federal troops standing guard 
along the i*oute. The tempo of mass pressure for demo- 
cratic rights in the South had made it necessary for 
Johnson to offer some sort of voting rights law. How- 
ever, 'n the granting of this concession, Johnson has 
made every effort tp bend it to the interests of capital- 
ism — and particularly to the benefit of his party. It is 
clear that Johnson timed his Voting Rights bill and 
the deployment of troops to coincide intimately with 
King's maneuvers' in Selma. In this way Johnson, the 
racist cracker, has made himself appear as a "great 
white father" and the Federal government as bene- 
factor and defender of the Negro people — a master 
stroke of cynical dupery. 

Celebration on the Left 

The mindless enthusing of the Militant and others 
over the Selma-to-Montgomery march only attests to 
the extraordinary political shrewdness of Johnson: 
firmly directing King's activities with one hand, 
staunchly defending "states' rights" with his other 
hand, all the while cautioning "both sides"; and then 
sending in troops and pushing the vote law from the 
"middle of the road." In addition to adding its voice 
to the chorus celebrating the march and the mobiliza- 
tion of Federal troops, the "revolutionary" Militant 
committed the further betrayal of calling upon John- 
son to keep Ms troops in Alabama, and reiterated its 
demand to the bourgeoisie that the American troops in 
Vietnam be sent to Alabama. The grotesqueness of the 
demand is clear when one recalls what troops are fight- 
ing in Vietnam — the notorious Marines and the anti- 
communist elite "Special" Forces" ! For "revolutionists" 
to proclaim that the democratic revolution in the South 
can be carried out on the bayonets of imperialism, in- 
stead of by the organized black and white workers in 
struggle against such forces, is simple treachery. 

Breach in the Democratic Party 

In spite of Johnson's efforts to make his voting rights 
hill "work" for racist capitalism, it appears that what 



will emerge is a potentially valuable concession by the 
power structure to the civil rights movement, giving 
Negroes in Alabama and several other states the right 
to vote. Of course -the ruling class intends to do all it 
can to assure that this right is not exercised in a way 
that would threaten it, i.e., by going outside the Demo- 
cratic-Republican party framework. In ad<^ition, it is 
vital to note that (as nume^-ous news analysts have 
pointed out) the bill applies in practice solely to those 
Southern states in which Democratic machines bolted 
for Goldwater in 196^, while ignoring the voter restric- 
tions of other states.'such as Louisiana, which remained 
loyal to Johnson. Thus, it is obvious that Johnson wish- 
es to pay back Governor, Wallace and various other 
Southern politicians for this defection. Through the 
services of King and other "policemen," Johnson feels 
he has the Southern Negro vote "in the bag" and can 
afford to push a voting law through Congress — toward 
pulling the rug out from under his opponents inside 
the Democratic Party with black votes in 1966 and '68. 

A Southern Labor Party 

Recognizing this trap, civil-rights militants in the 
South must make it their main task to broaden the 
struggle for democratic rights into a political struggle 
against Johnson and the two-party fraud, and to work 
towards an 'independent party based on the needs of 
the Negro people and the whole working class. With 
such an organization, ready to defend itself and its 
people from the racist attacks of cops, troopers, and 
hoodlums, black people would have little trouble get- 
ting and keeping the right to vote, Federal law or no. 
Only in the context of organizing for independent po- 
litical struggle does voter registration have meaning. 

In addition, the civil rights movement must realize 
that it cannot look to the Federal government for "pro- 
tection" of any sort. If the past history of Federal in- 
action and collaboration with the segregationist ap- 
paratus is not enough proof, the Selma case should 

make it clear that Johnson will mobilize Federal forces 
and pass voting-rights bills only when he feels thj»t 
the interests of the American racist status qiw will 
benefit. Once the Negro people begin to assert their 
real power and independence, and attempt to use these 
laws for their own political action, these same troops 
will be turned against them in the interests of racist 
oppression. The civil-rights movement will then find 
itself witch-hunted, its meetings raided and supporters 
arrested, by the same F.B.I, it is presently beseeching 
to protect it. The illusion of "non-violence" spread by 
King and others is a criminal disarming of black peo- 
ple, and is consistent with the role of these "leaders" 
as agents of the power structure. The movement must 
scrap these illusions once and for all and begin to or- 
ganize the Negro people to defend themselves from 
violence. The movement must look to Jtself, not to the 
Federal government, for protection. 

By developing now a party commanding respect and 
winning gains throught the organization of black 
power, yet a party without racial exclusivism, Negro 
militants will lay the basis for eventual working-class 
fusion. This fusion will come about when the exploited 
section of the white South is driven into opposition and 
in desperation is compelled to forego color prejudice 
in order to struggle along class lines against its real 
enemies — thV owners of land and industry and their 

Onjy Through Struggle 

The Selma-Montgomery events must be clearly rec- 
ognized as an intended perversion of the civil-rights 
movement. But militants can turn the projected empty 
voting-rights law against the Democrats, against the 
maintenance of the capitalist system, the survival of 
which is inextricably linked with the continued oppres- 
sion of black people. The key to filling the voting proc- 
ess with content i? voting for and building a new party 
fighting for the political, social and economic rights 
and needs of the working people. ■ 

Pickets protest witch hunting "Harlem Riots" Grand Jury on day SPARTACIST editor subpoenaed to 
appear at Criminal Court Building. The well-hated New York Red Squad cop, Fritz O. Behr, watches. 



Of all the national Negro leaders in this country, 
the one who was known uniquely for his militancy, 
intransigence, and refusal to be the liberals' front- 
man has been shot down. This new political assas- 
sination is another indicator of the rising current 
of irrationality and individual terrorism which the 
decay of our society begets. Liberal reaction is pre- 
dictable, and predictably disgusting. They are, of 
course, opposed to assassination, and some may even 
contribute to the fund for the education of Mal- 
colm's children, but their mourning at the death of 
the head of world imperialism had a considerably 
greater ring of sincerity than their regret at the 
murder of a black militant who wouldn't play their 

Black Muslims? 

The official story is that Black Muslims killed Mal- 
;olm. But we should not hasten to accept this to 
date unproved hypothesis. The New York Police, 
for exampie, had good cause to be afraid of Malcolm, 
and with the vast resources of blackmail and coer- 
cion which are at their disposal, they also had ample 
opportunity, and of course would have little reason 
to fear exposure were they involved. At the same 
time, the Muslim theory cannot be discounted out 
of hand because the Muslims are not a political 
group, and in substituting religion for science, and 
color mysticism for rational analysis, they have a 
world view which eould encompass the efficacy and 
morality of assassination. A man who has a direct 
pipeline to God can justify anything. 

No Program 

The main point, however, is not who killed Mal- 
colm, but why could he be killed? In the literal 
sense, of course, any man can be killed, but why 
was Malcolm particularly vulnerable? The answer 
to this question makes of Malcolm's death tragedy 
of the sharpest kind, and in the literal Greek sense. 
Liberals and Elijah have tried to make Malcolm a 
victim of his own (non-existent) doctrines of vio- 
lence. This is totally wrong and totally hypocritical. 
Malcolm was the most dynamic national leader to 
have appeared in America in the last decade. Com- 
pared with him the famous Kennedy personality was 
a flimsy cardboard creation of money, publicity, 
makeup, and the media. Malcolm had none of these, 
but a righteous cause and iron character forged by 
white America in'the fire of discrimination, addic- 
tion, prison, and incredible calumny. He had a dif- 
ficult to define but almost tangible attribute called 

charisma. When you heard Malcolm speak, even 
when you heard him say things that were wrong and 
confusing, you wanted to believe. Malcolm could 
move men deeply. He was the stuff of which mass 
leaders are made. Commencing his public life in the 
context of the apolitical, irrational religiosity and 
racial mysticism of the Muslim movement, his break 
toward politicalness and rationality was slow, pain- 
ful, and terribly incomplete. It is useless to speculate 
on how far it would have gone had he lived. He had 
entered prison a burgler, an addict, and a victim. He 
emerged a Muslim and a free man forever. Elijah 
Muhammed and the Lost-Found Nation of Islam 
were thus inextricably bound up with his personal 
emancipation. In any event, at the time of his death 
he had not yet developed a clear, explicit, and ration- 
al social program. Nor had he led his followers in 
the kind of transitional struggle necessary , to the 
creation of a successful mass movement., ly^acking 
such a program, he could not develop cadres based on 
program. What cadre he had was based on Malcolm 
X instead. Hated and feared by the power structure, 
and the focus of the paranoid feelings of kis former 
colleagues, his charisma made him dangerous, and 
his lack of developed program and cadre made him 
vulnerable. His death by violence had a high order 
of probability, as he himself clearly felt. 

H^oic and Tragic Figure 
The raurcter ef Makolm, and the disastrous e««se- 
qi^nces flowing from that murder for Malcolm's or- 
ganization and black militancy in general, does not 
mean that the militant black movement can always 
be deca]2^itated with a shotgun. True, there is an 
agonizing gap in black leadership today. On the one 
hand there are the respectable servants of the liberal 
establishment; men like James Farmer whose con- 
temptible effort to blame Malcolm's murder on "Chi- 
nese Communists" will only hasten his eclipse as a 
leader, and on the other hand the ranks of the mili- 
tants have yet to produce a man with the leadership 
potential of Malcolm. But such leadership will even- 
tually be forthcoming. This is a statistical as well as 
a social certainty. This leadership, building on the 
experience of others such as Malcolm, and emanci- 
pated from his religiosity, will build a movement in 
which the black masses and their allies can lead the 
third great American revolution. Then Malcolm X 
will be remembered by black and white alike as a 
heroic and tragic figure in ft dark period of our eom- 
mon history. ■ 

Bay Area Spartacist Committee, 2 March, 1965 

MAY-JUNE 1965 


A century ago Karl Marx wrote: "The greater the 
social wealth, the functioning capital, the extent and 
energy of its growth, and, therefore, also the absolute 
mass of the proletariat and the productiveness of its 
labor ... the greater is official pauperism. This is the 
absolute general law of capitalist accumulation." To- 
day, as U.S. capitalism is attaining a cyclical peak of 
imexanipled prosperity, the relief rolls in New York 
City are growing at least as fast as the National In- 
come. "Poverty'* is the liberal's catchword and alibi, 
but the fact remains : in New York, the richest city the 
world has ever known, not only does a quarter of the 
population live in hovels but almost half a million citi- 
zens of this city are kept from starvation only by the 
"Welfare" dole. Some 6,000 social workers are em- 
ployed by the City to administer these people— it was 
these 6,000 who this January struck through the entire 
month, the largest and longest strike of public em- 
ployees in the history of this state. 

/ Partial Victory 

Strikes of public employees are illegal in New York 
State. Under the Condon-Wadlin law not only may the 
strike itself be enjoined, but all strikers are subject to 
penalties ranging from departmental fines to dismissal. 
In the course of the strike each striker was told several 
times that he or she was fired; and nineteen union 
leaders were imprisoned for over a week. Nevertheless 
the strike remained solid throughout, and terminated 
in a clear, though incomplete, victory for the workers. 
The penalties threatened by Condon-Wadlin have been 
effectively blocked,' and the settlement imposed by the 
"fact-finding" arbitration agreed on at the close of the 
strike gives the workers very substantial gains, even 
though it falls short in a number of important areas. 
The scope of this settlement is indicated by two facts: 
a.) the workers receive across-the-board wage increases 
ranging from 11.3 to 14% (from $600 to $950), b.) ^he 
improvements in working conditions agreed to will cost 
the City when they finally come an amount eqiliivalent 
to the direct wage increase. 

Militant Strikers 
This major strike has a significance going far beyond 
the local problems of the N.Y. Department of Welfare : 
in its motivation and dynamism it was at least as close- 
ly related to the Southern civil rights struggles and 
the Berkeley Free Speech fight as it was to traditional 
trade unionism. The social workers at the Welfare 
Department are in a large majority young college grad- 
uates with a degree in the "liberal arts." They are a 
highly fluid group, without such permanent ties to the 
job as pension investment, family responsibilities, etc. 
This is expressed in one durable statistic : the turnover 
rate of 40% among case workers. This figure can only 
be an index of mionumental inefficiency, but to the City 
administration it is more than acceptable. It saves 
money in two ways: by keeping a majority of staff in 
the' lowest paid category, and by making it difficult, 
often impossible, for those on relief to get assistance 
to which they are legally entitled but which an inex- 

perienced and overburdened worker cannot provide. As 
a result, all the socially and intellectually rebellious fac- 
tors present in this stratum of American youth came 
to be directed against the City administration. 


For this revolt to catch fire, however, an effective 
organizational instrument was needed. Since the Mc- 
Carthy era, when the left-wing United Public Workers 
union was smashed, the welfare workers had been rep- 
resented by a local of the AFL State, County and Muni- 
cipal Employees, dominated by high clerical employees 
in the central welfare administration — a company un- 
ion. This grip was finally broken by an independent 
rank and file led union of social workers, the Social 
Service Employees Union. Last October 9 the SSEU 
decisively won a collective bargaining election giving 
it the right to represent all non-supervisory social 
workers. Although the AFL aflfiliate subsequently re- 
placed its leadership with a more militant group and 
supported the strike, the leading role throughout was 
played by the SSEU. 

The great strength of the SSEU has been the mili- 
tancy of its members, which time and again upset, the 
calculations of the City, and made it impossible for the 
bureaucrats of the AFL-CIO Central Labor Council to, 
carry through maneuvers aimed at selling a rotten 
compromise to the workers, maneuvers which at the 
close of the first week of the strike had come so close 
to fruition that newspapers were announcing an im- 
minent settlement. 

Leadership Weakness 

The SSEU, however, also showed certain weaknesses. 
The strike was not adequately prepared financially or 
materially, and above all the union's efforts to inform 
and mobilize the welfare recipients before the strike 
were negligible. As a result, the City did not feel real 
pressure until the strike was well into its third week, 
as the clients received their standard checks (sent out 
by machine) and posfponed attempts to obtain emerg- 
ency assistance. Much more significant, in the long run, 
a section of the SSEU leadership proved highly re- 
ceptive to the seductions oflfered by the AFL-CIO bu- 
reaucrats, and could be kept in line only by the over- 
whelming militancy of the ranks. However, militancy 
as such is neither a good guide nor a durable guaran- 
tor. It must translate itself into the formation of a 
coherent, conscious, and far-sighted leadership for the 
potentially historic significance of the strike to be 
realized. ■ 

SPARTACIST Special Supplement 

— Editor Subpoenaed by 

"Harlem Riots" Grand Jury 
—What Gives in Vietnam? 
— Leaflet to Welfare Strikers 

a copy free on request from: SPARTACIST 
Box 1377, G.P.O., New York, N. Y. 10001 


The Student Re 

The free speech revolt on the Univer- 
sity of California's Berkeley campus is 
another indication that the great society 
is unlikely to get beyond the press- 
agentry stage. The revolt was, in the 
last analysis, directed against the val- 
ves and assumptions that are essential 
to the liberal consensus, and indicates 
a deep-seated dissatisfaction, if not open 
revolt, among social groupings whom 
the establishment might legitimately 
expect to' support it. The students and 
teaching assistants at Berkeley are not 
amonjg the economically deprived mar- 
ginal groups. They do not represent 
forgotten pools of poverty which the 
President's domestic war is supposed 
to mop up. On the contrary, the stu- 
dents at Berkeley are by and large 
drawn from middle class famines, es- 
pecially the intelligentsia, and from 
the upwardly mobile working class. Re- 
gardless of their social origins, they 
have every prospect of being able to 
share in the benefits of the economy 
of abundance. A U.C. diploma, or ad- 
vanced degree, is virtual assurance of 
split level income opportunities for 
the aspiring student. The Great Amer- 
ican Way of Life is open and acces- 
sible to these students, and this fact 
l^ves their rejection of the established 
way a profound meaning. 

Attempts by the detractors of the 
Free Speech Movement (FSM) to dis- 
miss the whole matter as confined to a 
few disaffected radical students are' 
futile in the face of the mass partici- 
pation which the events evoked. The 
strike which climaxed the stUggle 
brought the University to a virtual 
standstill and involved in one degree 
or another of active participation a 
majority of the graduate students (a 
large majority in the case of the lib- 
eral arts), and a minority of the over- 
all student body which approached 
fifty percent. Movements of this pro- 
portion cannot be considered mere 
ideological byplay out on the fringes; 
rather, they must reflect underlying so- 
cial discontent in significant strata of 
the population, whether this discon- 
tent manifests itself in economic or^ 
as in this case, in intellectual and 
moral forms. 

The political periphery of the Berk- 
eley campus has of course been mak- 
ing small waves for a number of years. 
Since the fifties there have always 
been diverse organized radical move- 
ments on the campus, sometimes rela- 
tively large and sometimes smaller, 
but never deeply rooted among the 
students, and even on the most popular 

issues, able to involve only a numeri- 
cally insignificant percentage of them 
in political and social struggle. All 
thtee of the basic radical tendencies 
have been represented, Social Demo- 
cratic, Stalinist; and Trotskyist, with 
now one and now the other rising to 
greater prominence. Since the begin- 
ning of the sixties, there has been a 
generailly increasing degree of student 
political activity, but even at its height 
this has been little more than an inter- 
esting part of the over-all campus 
background and has had little impact 
on the lives and consciousness of the 
great majority of the students. 

Restless Students 

Probably the most famous of these 
earlier controversies was the loyalty 
oath fight of 1950-51. However, this 
was largely a faculty affair, to which 
the students were mainly spectators, 
and the eventual ignominious capitu- 
lation of the great majority of the 
liberal faculty was scarcely an example 
to inspire students. Later, however, a 
larger (but still very small) number 
of students began to be involved in po- 
litical action. SLATE, originally or- 
ganized to challenge Greek control of 
the official student organization, the 
Associated Students of the University 
of California (ASUC), became a gen- 
eral issue-oriented catch-all organiza- 
tion of liberals and radicals, and di- 
rectly or indirectly organized student 
participation in a number of cai^ises 
such as abolition of capital punish- 
ment (around the Chessman case), 
fair housing, and most spectacularly, 
in opposition to the HUAC. The re- 
sponse of the students to the hosing 
of spectators and hecklers at the May 
1960, HUAC hearings in San Fran- 
cisco brought the first mass turnout 
of students, when about three or four 
thousand people, roughly half of whom 
were students, protested the police ac- 
tion on the following day. However, 
this event proved episodic in charac- 
ter and it was not until the build-up 
of the national civil rights movement 
a few years later that sig-nificant 
numbers of students again became in- 
volved in politics and social action. 

In 1963 and 1964, campus political 
action, around the civil rights ques- 
tion, began to have real impact on the 
outside community. The Berkeley cam- 
pus contributed more than its share 
of cadre elements to the national move- 
ment, and to such actions as the Mis- 
sissippi summer project. Locally, a 
series of job actions began, starting 

by Geoff 

MASS ACTION. U. C. students surround 
Campus CORE was arrested. Top of car u 

with the picketing of Mel's Drive-ins 
by Youth for Jobs. The Ad Hoc Com- 
mittee to End Job Discrimination then 
spearheaded an attack on the Sheraton- 
Palace Hotel in San Francisco which 
culminated in an all-night sit-in by a 
thousand or so demonstrators, the ma- 
jority of whom were students, the first 
mass arrests, and a substantial vic- 
tory. The auto-row demonstrations 
kept things going and added new mass 
arrests. Meanwhile, in Berkeley itself, 
CORE'S campaign against Lucky's 
Stores, while involving fewer people, 
created widespread controversy, over 
the militant economic sabotage tac- 
tics used by CORE. This action also 
brought out the firpt rank and file 
counter-movement, with fraternity and 
law school types helping Lucky's to 
clear away the check stands swamped 
by the CORE demonstrators. Thest 
student activities diew real blood, and 
when, in the period before the elec- 
tion, ^the Ad Hocers turned to picketing 
William Knowland's Oakland Tribune, 
they took on the most powerful single 
force in Alameda county. Simultane- 

MAY-JUNE 1965 

^olt at Berkeley 

i White 

Photo by Dorothy White 

npus police car when Jack Weinberg of 
ts podium while Weinberg was held inside. 

ously, students were harassing the 
world's largest bank, Bank America, 
with picket-lines and "bank-ins," 

Thus, at a time when the civil rights 
movement nationally was in a state 
of decline, the Berkeley students had 
scored a number of victories over sig- 
nificant, if relatively minior, oppon- 
ents, and were now a real annoyance 
■ to the most powerful forces in the 

I ' state. Furtheimore, the trend of de- 
P ■ velopments made it clear that the stu- 

dent civil rights movement and student 
activity in directly related pslitical 
fields was creating an incipient mass 
movement, and that given the right 
developments nationally and interna- 
tionally, the establishment would be 
dealing with something much more sig- 
nificant than a few score dedicated in- 

A Long Chain of Abuses 

, In this context it is not surprising 

that the University administration 
chose the fall of 1964 to renew its carn- 
paign against student political and so- 
cial action. True to its tradition as a 

liberal institution, the University of 
California has a long history of in- 
fringements on student and faculty 
political rights. In the recent past 
there was the Regents' loyalty oath, 
which had purged the faculty of some 
of its more principled members. For 
several years Communist Party speak- 
ers had been banned from the campus. 
Eventually President Kerr lifted this 
ban (wisely, it turned out, for when 
the students flocked to hear the first 
"legal" CP speaker, it became, pain- 
fully apparent that the CP had noth- 
ing to say), but replaced it by a series 
of unreasonable restrictions applying' 
to all outside speakers, such as 72- 
hours notice and the presence of a 
tenured faculty member. The Kerr 
directives of 1959 attempted to restrict 
involvement of campus organizations 
in off-campus political questions, and 
the p.dmiriistration stooped to such 
petty harassments as requiring stu- 
dent groups to pay for unneeded and 
unwanted police protection for their 

Shortly after the beginning of the 
fall term, Dean of Students Katherine 
A. Towle announced that ' the tables 
which the various organizations had 
been in the habit of setting up in t^e 
area next to the main entrance to the 
University campus were in violation 
of University rules, and would no 
longer be tolerated. Since this was 
the main means by which the student 
action groups operated, the enforce- 
ment of this regulation would have 
been an insupportable blow to the stu- 
dent organizations. These organiza- 
tions agreed jointly to resist, not only 
by protesting through channels and by 
legal picketing, but also by ignoring 
the ban. Thus was established the ba- 
sic pattern for the future development 
of the FSM. 

At the core of the united front were 
the civil rights organizations, aided by 
the radical groups — Young Socialist Al- 
laince (YS.^), Independent Socialists, 
DuBois Club, and Young Peoples Social- 
ist League (YPSL) — liberal groups, 
religious organizations, and even or- 
ganizations of the right like Campus 
Young Republicans, Students for Gold- 
water, and Univeisity Society of In- 
dividualists. Its demands were simple: 

1. The students shall have the right 
to hear any person speak in any 
open area of the campus at any 
time on any subject, except when 
it would cause a traffic problem or 
interfere with classes. 

2. Persons shall have the right to 
participate in political activity on 
campus by advocating political ac- 
tion beyond voting, by joining or- 
ganizations, ilnd by giving dona-, 
tions. Both students and non- 
students shall have the right to 
set up tables and pass out politi- 
cal literature. The only reasonable 
and acceptable basis for permits 
is traffic control. 

3. The unreasonable and arbitrary 
restrictions of 72-hour3' notice, 
student paid-for police protection, 
and faculty moderators, required 
for speakers using University 
buildings, must be reformed. 

The administration was evidently 
taken by surprise at the student re- 
sistance. Their first excuse was that 
the tables blocked traffic, but this 
was so manifestly absurd that it was 
dropped in favor of arguments based 
on a state law forbidding political ac- 
tivities on public property. When, in 
the face of the unexpected strength of 
the student protest, the administra- 
tion revised the ruling to permit ta- 
bles with "informational material" but 
not calls for action or recruitment, the 
real political nature of the ban became 
clear. The next move came from the 
administration which took the names 
of five students 'who were manning il- 
legal tables and ordered thern^ to report 
to the dean's office individually for 
disciplining. The students replied by 
turning in to the dean's office a state- 
ment by four hundred students that 
they too had been manning tables or 
were intending to, and demanding 
equal treatment with the five. All re- 
ported to the dean's office en masse, and 
the first Sproul Hall (Administration 
Building) sit-in resulted. The stu- 
dents continued to man the tables and 
the five students and three others were 
indefinitely suspended. 

Students Capture a Car 
Two days later the authorities at- 
tempted a showdown. University po- 
licemen approached Jack Weinberg who 
was manning a campus CORE table 
and asked him to desist from this il- 
legal activity. When he refused he 
was arrested and placed in a campus 
police car which had been driven up 
to, the spot. However, before the po- 
lic could drive away with their pris- 
oner the car was surrounded by stu- 
dents who sat down in front of it and 
behind it and would not let it move. In 
almost no time five hundred or so stu- 
(Continued Next Page) 



. , . STUDENT 

dents were surrounding the car, and 
if the iwlice had arrested Weinberg, 
the students had in effect arrested the 
police. Without prior planning, but on 
the basi^ of what they had learned in 
previous ' civil rights demonstrations, 
the students showed an ingenuity and 
boldness which amazed even^ friendly 
outsiders, and terrified the adminis- 
tration. FSM made the top of the 
captured car their speakers' platform, 
setting up a loud-speaker system which, 
turned the Sproul Hall Plaza into a 
giant open air rally. The crowd was 
continually addressed by a series of 
FSM spokesmen and others, exhorted, 
informed, and entertained. A commis- 
sary was set up, and food and cold 
drink's passed out for the hot after- 
noons, and hot coffee and food in the 
cool night. The inevitable sleeping bags 
and blacket rolls appeared, and it be- 
came apparent that the students were 
determined to stick it out. 
-The actively participating crowd 
varied in size from time to time, but 
five hundred was probably the aver- 
age, and at no time did it fall below 
three hundred. On the second evening 
of the siege, the fraternity-football 
contingent put in a^n appearance, but 
^nding themselves outnumbered, they 
confined themselves to desultory heck- 
ling. Within an hour or two the hos- 
tile elements melted away, and ten- 
sions relaxed. Around the central core 
of committed demonstrators was a 
constantly shifting periph'ery of the 
ancommitted. Mainly students and 
campus community people, they observ- 
ed, listened, discussed. For most it 
was a conflict of values, between their 
commitment to the traditional rules 
of free speech and fair play on one 
hand, and to the sanctity of property 
and orderly process on the other. Two 
months later it was the ultimate de- 
cision^ of many of these people to sup- 
port the protest which made the strike 
a success. 

As long as the students made no 
attempt to release the prisoner by 
force, and as long as the police made 
no attempt to use force to release the 
car, the situation was at an impasse. 
However, with the newspapers and 
TV yelling "anarchy," and the right 
wing press and politicians calling for 
blood, the impasse had to be resolved. 
Demonstration leaders were summoned 
to a conference with President Kerr 
who had previously refused to nego- 
tiate with them. They were offered an 
agreement whereby if the students Re- 
leased the car and promised to "cease 
illegal forms of protest," they would 
in' turn be guaranteed against re- 
prisal; the matter of student political 
activities was to be referred to a com- 

mittee which would include FSM lead- 
ers and the case of the eight taken to 
"the student affairs committee of the 
academic senate." The academic sen- 
ate is the organization of the tenured 
faculty members on the campus. The 
arrested man was to be taken to the 
station, booked, and released on his 
own recognizance. Kerr told the stu- 
dent leaders that if they rejected this 
proposal, the matted would be turned 
over to the five hundred police who 
were being held close at hand. After 
negotiating a slight improvement in 
the wording which would not cut them 
off indefinitely from "illegal forms of 
protest," the leaders returned to the? 
demonstration, explained the situation, 
and while Warning against probable 
bad faith on the part of the adminis- 
tration, recommended acceptance of the 
truce. Under the prevailing conditions, 
no formal vote, of course, could be 
taken, but it was clear that the lead- 
ers' position had the support of the 
overwhelming majority of those pres- 
ent, and thirty hours after the orig- 
inal arrest, the crowd quietly turned 
its back on the car and walked away. 

Students Capture Sproul Hall 

The following two months were a 
period of prolonged negotiations and 
much confusion, with the now formal- 
ly constituted FSM waxing and wan- 
ing according to underlying moods 
among the students and the degree ol 
tactless provocation exhibited by the 
administration. When it turned out 
that there was no Academic Senate 
Committee on Student Affairs, sus- 
picions of official , bad faith were 
strengthened. The Chancellor obliging- 
ly filled the gap by appointing a tri- 
partite committee of faculty, student, 
and administration representatives. Of 
the student representatives, two were 
from the FSM, and two from the offi- 
cial ASUC Kehilah. However, FSM 
refusal to deal seriously with this sus- 
pect committee did produce reforms in 
its composition, and the committee it- 
self finally called for mitigation of 
the J disciplinary action against the 
eight. As weeks passed without deci- 
sive action, there appeared to be a 
distinct possibility that the momentum 
of the student movement would be dis- 
sipated in the maze of official channels 
and committee meetings. 

This period of confused negotiations, 
however, was ended by action of the 
administration. On Friday, November 
27, Chancellor Strong, chief adminis- 
trative officer of the Berkeley campus, 
sent letters to four of the top leaders 
of FSM, including Mario Savio, initi- 
ating new disciplinary action on the 
basis of the siege of the police car. 
Students hitherto only mildly inter- 
ested were outraged j^t what appeared 
to them to be simultaneously double 

jeopardy , (all the students involved 
had already been suspended), ex post 
facto, and the administration's repu- 
diation of the recommendations of its 
own hand-picked committee. FSM rec- 
ognized that with its leaders' heads 
on the block there was no more room 
for negotiation, and held three eoii- 
secutive rallies on Sproul Hall steps, 
Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, 
each larger than the previous one. At 
the end of Wednesday's rally over 800 
demonstrators occupied Sproul Hall. 
The great Sproul HalU sit-in was on. , 

Once in possession of the administra- 
tion building, the students proceeded 
to such varied activities as showing old 
Chaplin movies and holding regular 
classes and seminars as part of the 
Free University of California. They 
draped their FSM banner across the 
front of the building, and most im- 
portant, set up a public address sys- 
tem which they used to speak to the 
constantly changing but always huge 
crowd in the plaza in front of the 
hall. All efforts by the administration 
to persuade the student leatfers to 
evacuate the building failed> and some- 
time during Wednesday evening. Pres- 
ident Kerr, at the end of his resoarees, 
appealed to Governor Brown. Brown is 
a true liberal Democrat, and further 
has a reputation for weakness, inde- 
cision, atid mildness; However, ^en 
such a vital ^a-rt of the system as the 
University faces a serious threat, he 
is capable of quick action. Some five 
hundred police, from Berkeley, Oak- 
land, the Alameda County sheriff's 
office, and the California Highway Pa- 
trol were sent to the campus with 
orders from Brown to evacuate Sproul 
Hall, by force if necessary. 

The demonstrators were told they 
might leave the building freely, but if 
they did not do so at once they would 
be arrested. Very few left, and in the 
small hours of Thursday morning the 
arrests began. Some walked out with 
the arresting officers, but the great 
majority followed the standard civil 
rights technique and went limp. After 
carrying, dragging and throwing the 
dempnstrators down the stairs of the 
building, the police took them in buses 
and police wagons to the Santa Rita 
County Prison Farm where they were 
charged with such offenses as tres- 
passing, disorderly conduct, resisting 
arrest, and failure to leave a public 
building. 801 demonstrators were ar- 
rested; about eighty percent of them 
were students or employees of the. 
University, or their wives, one was a 
faculty member, and m&ny of the re- 
mainder were people mpre or less close- 
ly associated with the broader Univer- 
sity community. These mass arrests 
constituted a serious defeat for the 
administration forces. By appealing to 


outside authority and resorting to 
armed force they lost still more stature 
in the eyes of many members of the 
University community hitherto unin- 
volved in the controversy. The gover- 
nor's action, however, was very well 
received by the press, both conserva- 
tive and liberal, though the specific 
techniques of the police, such as drag- 
ging students down the steps by their 
heels, did receive some criticism. 

Students Strike the University 
The FSM, through its affiliated 
Graduate Coordinating Committee, had 
long been laying plans for a strike in 
the case of just such an emergency. 
Even with most of its leaders only 
slowly filtering back from Santa Rita 
prison, the machinery automatically 
elicked into actidn Thursday morning. 
But no machinery, no call, was neces- 
sary to instigate the strike. On Thurs- 
day morning the arrests were still tak- 
ing place in Sproul Hall, and tibe wave 
of indignation generated by the po- 
lice occupation of the campus, and 
especially the flight of the notorious 
Oakland police, virtually closed the 
University. Preliminary strike talk had 
prepared the minds of the students for 
this form of action, and they now 
took it more or less automatically. The 
previous!]; created apparatus of the 
FSM organized, channeled, and sus- 
tained the spontaneous outburst. Pick- 
et lines were set up at all entrances to 
the campus, and some delivery trucks 
were turned back. The major buildings 
were also picketed, and roving-.picket 
lines moved about the campus. Stu- 
dents were asked not to attend classes, 
teachers not to teach, and staff not to 
'report for work. The student appeal 
won a response in all these categories, 
and in the liberal arts departments the 
i^trike was an overwhelming success. 
For two days the administrative ma- 
chinery and the academic heart of the 
University were paralyzed. 

Key to the success of the strike was 
the role of the teachii^g assistants, 
graduate student^ studying for their 
Pk.D.'s. At Berkeley, as at so many 
other prestige universities, the actual 
teaching duties of the faculty mem- 
bers are of secondary importance to 
their role as researchers, writers, ideo- 
logues, and in many cases providers of 
tiechnical services for outside interests. 
The major teaching of undergraduates 
is done by the teaching assistants, 
whose status is intermediate between 
that of students and faculty, and 
whose rather meager teaching salaried 
see them through to their doctorates. 
The support of these men and women, 
who of course had no tenure or union 
and only their own solidarity to pro- 
tect them from reprisals from their 
department heads or the University ad- 
ministration, was crucial to the suc- 

cess of the strike. Support from teach- 
ing assistants in the liberal arts was 
overwhelming, and in the departments 
of philosophy and mathematics it was 
virtually 'unaniYnous. All in all the 
strike was an outstanding success, far 
more so, ,in fact, than tbe FSM leader- 
ship had anticipated. 

Epiphany in the Greek Tlieater 

The climax of this decisive battle of 
the free speech revolt took place, ap- 
propriately enough, in the Greek The- 
ater, a gift by the Hearst family to 
their University. The Academic Senate, 
comprising the tenured faculty members 
and those others who had been with 
the University two or more years, had 
been a complaisant tool of the admin- 
istration since the days of the Re- 
gents' loyalty oath fight in the 1950's. 
Now, however, it could no longer be 
considered reliable from Kerr's point 
of view. With administration prestige 
at a low ebb and a large minority of 
the students in open rebellion, Kerr 
needed faculty cover for his next move. 
He found this through the well-known 
liberal Professor Robert A. Scalapino, 
chairman of the Department of Politi- 
cal Science. This academic politician 
was generally reputed to have realistic 
ambitions to replace the inept Edward 
W. Strong as Chancellor of the Berk- 
eley campus. 

Short-circuiting the Academic Sen- 
ate, Scalapino brought together all the 
department^ heads. These professors, 
on the whole men who either have a 
disposition to be attracted by the ad- 
ministrative side of affairs or at least 
less aversion to it than the average 
faculty memher, were in the aggre- 
gate more inclined to be sympathetic 
to Strong and Kerr than the average 
faculty member. For the minority who 
were strongly opposed to the admin- 
istration's position, Scalapino used, the 
blackmail of threats of a legislative 
investigation, . the immediate replace- 
ment of the liberal Kerr by a right 
wng reactionary (Max Rafferty, the 
ultra-rightist State Supetintendent of 
Education, always seemed to be lurk- 
ing somewhere in the wings), and 
other frightening pictures of the utter 
destruction of the University. .Thus he 
was able to secure unanimous approval 
of a series of proposals which, while 
saying many kind words about free- 
dom of speech and political discus- 
sion, in actuality made as their sole 
concession to the students the promise 
of amnesty from the University, but 
not civil, discipline for all actions hith- 
erto taken. With this fig leaf of faculty 
covering, Kerr made his play. 

Kerr called a University meeting 
for Monday morning, December 7, in 
the Greek Theater. A University meet- 
ing is for all students, faculty and em- 
ployees. It automatically suspends all 

classes and closes administrative and 
department offices, so that the effective- 
ness of the strike on the morning of 
its third day was obscured. The meet- 
ing was well attended by some eighteen 
to twenty thousand persons, over- 
whelmingly students but with an un- 
usually largfe attendance by faculty 
and a healthy sprinkling of employees.. 
The convening of this assembly pro- 
vided a convenient way of making a 
rough estimate of the nature of public 
opinion among the students at this 
time. When President Kerr was intro- 
duced, about one third of the audience 
cheered him, while about one third 
jeered. Considering that it is not at 
all customary for American students 
to jeer their president on solemn oc- 
casions, even in times of stress, this 
small event gives an additional indi- 
cation of the depths of the feelings in- 
volved. ' 

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Scalapino presented the Department 
Heads' proposals, striving to put be- 
hind them the full weight and prestige 
of the faculty. Then Kerr spoke. Un- 
like Chancellor Strong, Kerr is a man 
of tremendous accomplishments and 
ability, and a key member of the liber- 
al establishment in California. Hav- 
ing come up through the Institute of 
Industrial Relations, he is by experi- 
ence and training a man of the highest 
skills in the use of the liberal rhetoric, 
in the art of that kinji of compromise, 
adjustment, and accommodation which 
somehow always leaves the positions of 
the power structure intact, and the 
opposition with the feeling that the 
great man was really on their side, 
but for some reason unable to help 

That Monday morning Kerr was 
making the fight of his life and used 
all his skills. But he was speaking to 
an audience whose intelligence and so- 
phistication he and his supporters had 
consistently underestimated and who, 
by and large, had learned more in the 
past two months than many students 
do in the full four years. Many had 
read "The Mind of Clark Kerr," a 
(CoDtinued Next Page) 



. . . STUDENT 

clever critique by Hal Draper of Kerr's 
theory of the role of the "multiver- 
sity" as set forth by the president in 
his, Gpdkin Lectures at Harvard. To 
this audience Kerr presented himself 
as a mature and benign statesman, 
firm in the defense of principle but 
always ready to reason together with 
others if only they, like him, would 
be reasonable men and show due re- 
spect for the principles of la"^ and 
order which g^iaranteed everyone's 
freedom. He was one willing evfen to 
concede that his opposition might h^ve 
Some legitimate grievances, which no 
doubt could be met in the right atmos- 
phere. But above all he was one who 
would fight to the death to defend the 
principles of his beloved University, 
now threatened by anarchy within, and 
by implication by the now awakened 
dogs of know-nothing reaction without. 
On an exalted note he pledged his per- 
sonal honor to the amnesty provisions 
of the Department Heads' proposals, 
announced the resumption of classes at 
one o'clock, and declared the meeting 
closed. Would this great performance 
have won the uncommitted center? It 
is doubtful,, but we shall never know 
for sure. As Kerr ringingly announc- 
ed, "This meeting is now closed," 
Mario Savio, the charismatic leader of 
the FSM, began walking across the 
stage toward the microphone. Before a 
stunned audience of 18,000, Savio was 
seized by half a dozen campus police- 
men, knocked down, and carried bodily 
off the stage. 

In thirty seconds the delicate, la- 
boriously created image so skillfully 
worked up by Kerr and Scalapino was 
smashed beyond all recall. The instant 
revelation of what lay behind the dig- 
nity, the beautiful rhetoric, the air of 
sweet reasonableness, galvanized the 
audience. Kerr was ashen and visibly 
shaking. Scalapino, of whom it was 
said in cruel jest that he had been 
phancellor of the Berkeley campus for 
twenty minutes, was distraught. In one 
instant the uncommitted were com- 
mitted, and shouted their shock and 
protest. This soon settled down into 
the steady chant, "We want Mario!" 
The hard core of Kerr supporters 
left as instructed, but the great ma- 
jority, the hitherto silent ones as well 
as the hitherto committed, Stayed to 
wait for Mario. Behind the stage Savio 
was being held in a small dressing 
i-oom by the police while FSM lawyers 
were demanding that he be charged 
or released. Steve Weissman, leader of 
the striking graduate students, en- 
countered Kerr and said, "It sounds as 
if the students want Mario." The shak- 
en presidjent replied, "Yes, I guess they 
do." In a few minutes, Kerr collected 

his wits and ordered Savio's releaBe. 
With that feeling for the occasion and 
rapport with his audience which has 
made him the outstanding public figure 
in the FSM, Savio walked to the micro- 
phone and said: "I just wanted to an>- 
nounce that there will be a rally on 
Sproul Hall steps at noon today." On 
that note, the meeting ended. 

The Faculty's 4th of August 

The rest, although formally of 
greater importance, seemed like anti- 
climax. Some of the Department 
Heads began to repudiate Scalapino, 
who they felt had compromised and 
misled them. Scalapino and other De- 
partment Heads were subject to at- 
tack in departmental meetings which 
were unprecedented in academic cir- 
cles. The Academic Senate was to con- 
sider the problem at its Tuesday meet- 
ing. At its Monday noon rally imme- 
diately following the Greek Theater 
meeting, FSM announced that in order 
that the Senate might meet in the 
calmest possible atmosphere the strike 
would end Monday night, and that no 
activities would be scheduled for Tues- 
day. On Monday afternoon the strike 
was about 80% effective. 

When the Senate met, it was pre- 
sented with a resolution from its Com- 
mittee on Academic i^'reedom. Its text 
was as follows: 

"1. That there shall be no Univer- 
sity disciplinary measures against 
members or organizations of the Uni- 
versity community for activities prior 
to December 8 connected with the cur- 
rent controversy over political speech 
and activity. 

"2. That the time, place, and man- 
ner of conducting political activity on 
the campus shall be subject to reason- 
able regulation to prevent interference 
with the normal functions of the Uni- 
versity; that the regulations now in 
effect for this purpose shall remain in 
effect provisionally pending a future 
report of the Committee on Academic 
Freedom concerning the minirtial reg- 
ulations necessary. 

"3. That the content of speech 6r 
advocacy should not be restricted by 
the University. Off-campus student po- 
litical activities shall not be subject to 
University regulation. On-campus ad- 
vocacy or 'organization of such activ- 
ities shall be subject only to such limi- 
tations as may be imposed under sec- 
tion 2. 

"4. That future disciplinary meas- 
ures in the area of political activity 
shall be determined by a committee ap- 
pointed by and responsible to the 
Berkeley Division of the Academic 

"5. That the Division urge the adop- 
tion of the foregoing policies and call 

on all members of the University com- 
munity to join with the faculty, in its 
efforts to restore the University to 
its normal functions." 

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AUSTIN. Box 8165, University Sra- 
tion, Austin, Texas, 78712. 
Phone: GR 2-3716. 

BALTIMORE. Box 7513, Gwynn Oak 
Station, Baltimore, Md., 21207. 
Phone: 664-3628. 

BERKELEY. Box 852, Main P. O., 
Berkeley, Calif, 94701. 
Phone: TH 8-7369. 

CHICAGO. B6x 9295, Old P.O. Sta- 
tion, Chicago, III., 60690. 
Phone: 772-8817. 

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Station, Cincinnati, Ohio, 45246. 
Phone: 895-9853. 

EUREKA. Box 3061, Eureka, Calif, 
95501. Phone: 442-1423. 

HOUSTON. Box ] 8434, Eastv*/ood 

Station, Houston* Texas, 77023. 

Phone: 926-9946. 
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Phone: 273-5960. 
NEW YORK. Box 1 377, G.P.O., New 

York City, N. Y., 10001. 

Phone: UN 6-3093. 

With the administration forces demor- 
alized and in disarray, positive action 
was virtually assured. The most se- 
rious opposition came in the form of 
an anti-force-or-violence amendment 
offered by Lewis Feuer, who claims to 
have once' been a Marxist and is en- 
trusted by the University with the 
task of instructing students in the 
obscurities of this ideology, and Na- 
than Glaser, who as co-author of The 
Lonely Crowd no doubt wished whole- 
heartedly for the good old days of 
"other-directedness" on campus. The 
depth of Feuer's intellectual and mor- 
al degradation can be judged by his 
main supporting argument — that the 
KKK might use the resolution as cover 
for organizing synagogue defacements 
and pogroms! The Klan threat not be- 
ing a particularly pressing problem on 
the UC campus, this amendment Was 
supported by only about 150 out of the 
nearly one thousand faculty present. 
It is interesting to note that this hard 
core of opposition was characterized 
by the presence of a disproportionate 
number of ex-radicals of one kind and 
another, who for various reasons of 
Stalinophobia, fear, and cynicism were 
totally unable to respond to the moral 


MAY^UNE 1965 

— 13 

challenge FSM presented. The final 
vote on the unamended resolution was 
824 yes to 115 no. Thus the faculty, 
after months of hesitations and petti- 
fogging, finally placed itself formally 
on record in support of the students' 
demands. This was without doubt the 
high-water mark of the whole cam- 
paign, and no matteij what retreats 
the faculty might lateif make, no mat- 
ter how much it might fink on its own 
position, that vote stands in the rec- 
ord and validates the student move- 
ment in a way that permanently al- 
tered the terms of the equation. ' - 

No doubt the fiasco in the Greek 
Theater contributed heavily to the lop- 
sided nature of the vote, but it is likely 
that the majority position represented 
a more fundamental response to the 
continuing pressure of the students 
which posed the question to the faculty 
in sharper and shai-per terms. For 
those like Feuer and Glaser, especially 
the former who had had some preten- 
sions to influence among the thinking 
elements in the student body, their 
opposition to the resolution marked the 
end of their political and moral, and 
to a considerable extent also of their 
intellectual, influence among all sec- 
tions of the students with the excep- 
tion of the fraternity-football elements, 
and these are not interested in ideas 

Triangle of Forces 

Throughout this struggle the faculty 
has played the role of the third part 
in a three-part equation involving stu- 
dents, faculty, and the external society 
represented by the administration and 
the Regents. That section of the FSM 
leadership whose background was pri- 
marily in civil rights, which usually 
deals with situations wherein an inde- 
pendent third force is not present, 
tended at first to underestimate the 
importance of the faculty and also, 
when the faculty acted, to overestimate 
its reliability as an ally. However, the 
healthy scepticism of the politicals in 
the leadership combined with the mili- 
tancy of the civil rights elements to 
develop the tactics best designed to 
force this wavering group to take a 
stand, and to utilize that stand once 
made. When liberal Democrats, both 
real and pseudo, raided counsels of 
cautioh lest the faculty be antagon- 
ized, the FSM rejected this suicidal 
advice and redoubled its pressure. This 
tactic, combined with the very real 
felt grievances of the faculty itself 
which has been disregarded and treat- 
ed with refined contempt by the ad- 
ministration, won the faculty to its 
position of December 8, and prevented 
its effective use by Kerr and company. 

On Wednesday noon, following the 
Tuesday Academic Senate meeting, 
FSM called a victory rally and de- 

clared its wholehearted acceptance of 
the Senate's resolution. Some have at- 
tacked this action as premature, con- 
tending that it fostered illusions and 
that no real victory was won. While it 
is true that the action of the Senate 
did not mean that the students had 
won the concrete points they were 
struggling for, this was never claimed 
by the FSM leaders. It was a profound 
victory all the same, for it transform- 
ed the FSM from a group of marginal 
malcontents disrupting the University 
into the legitimate spokesmen for the 
whole acjademic community. It meant 
that as long as the struggle was con- 
fined within the framework of the aca- 
demic community (and the Regents 
really form no part of this community, 
being on the contrary the means by 
which this community is controlled by 
the outside), the victory was complete, 
the administration forces utterly rout- 

Where the Power Lies 
This marked the end of the militant 
phase of FSM activities. All that could 
be done to force the Regents' hands 
had been done. A petition and letter- 
writing campaign was organized, but 
after what had gone before this was 
generally recognized as futile and 
meaningless. The campus waited for 
the Regents* decision. Two phenomena 
were noticeable in the mood of the 
campus during this period. One was a 
rapid decline in the euphoria engend- 
ered by the faculty action and an in- 
creasing pessimism about the reaction 
of the Regents. The other was an in- 
tense emotional feeling of solidarity 
and comradeship among the students, 
a feeling which included for the first 
time much of the faculty and which 
transcended the rigorous hierarchical 
lines of the academic set-up. 

The reply of the Regents came just 
before the Christmas vacation, and by 
this time everyone anticipated what it 
was going to be. The Regents, after 
many declarations in favor of free 
speech and other good things and de- 
nial of any intent to prohibit advocacy, 
in substance rejected the Klemands of 
the Berkeley Academic Senate, brus- 
quely as far as the attempt to take 
over disciplinary power was concerned, 
indirectly on other matters. From this 
model of unclarity one thing emerges 
distinctly. The Regents reassert their 
authority and treat with demeaning 
contempt the demands of their faculty 
and students. They will dispose, and 
they alone. At the moment they chose 
to be relatively conciliatory, but they 
do not negotiate. They v/ill run the 
University as they also run the Bank 
of America, the Tejoii Ranch, Signal 
Oil, and the like. 

At this stage, February 1965, it ap- 
pears that the students have won de 

.facto, if not de jure, most of their de- 
mands. The obdurate Chancellor Strong 
was replaced in a face saving way by, 
the affable Martin Meyerson, a man 
of far greater sensitivity and sophisti- 
cation and therefore perhaps in the 
long run a more dangerous opponent, 
but one far less likely to back himself 
into a cbrner where he cannot make 
concessions when they are called for. 
The new rules when they come out are 
likely to be relatively reasonable, and 
Kerr's pledge of University amnesty 
for the P'SMers stands. There is even 
a widespread rumor that he had to lay 
his personal prestige on the line to 
prevent gorilla elements on the Regents 
from exacting reprisals. Thus, even 
on the level of their formal demands 
the students appear to have won a ma- 
jor victory, in substance if not in 
form. It is probable that it will be 
quite some time, before there is any 
further serious harassment of the stu- 
dent political organizations. Tables will 
be set up, action mounted, illegal acts 
advocated, and speakers heard. Of 
course another round will come, es- 
pecially if state politics Shift, as ap- 
pears likely, to the right. 

Future of the FSM 

Barring the unforeseen, the current 
intentions of the FSM are to disband, 
leaving only a skeleton appai'atus to 
serve two functions: First, as an in- 
formation center which can get ma- 
terial telling the story out to inter- 
ested parties, and especially to other 
campuses; and second as an agency to 
defend the 801 now facing charges in 
the civil courts and others who may 
be victimized in any way as a refiult 
of their part in FSM. Having won the 
right to advocate, the students now 
want to get back to that task, and 
others want to explore the possibilities 
of more t;enuinc intellectual communi- 
cation between students and teachers 
and within each group opened up as 
a by-product of the free speech strug- 

The Deeper Gains 

The gains of the students are not, 
however, limited merely to gaining 
more elbow room for their social and 
political action, gaining more favor- 
able conditions for operating the anti- 
establishmeiit underground, important 
though these gains are. The intangible 
gains have been summed up by Bob 
Starobin, a teaching assistant in His- 
tory,' a former editor of Root and 
Branch, and^delegate to the FSM Ex- 
ecutive Committee from the Graduate 
Coordinating Committee, in the follow- 
ing eight points: 

1. The myth of liberalism has been 
completely shattered. 

2. The students have a much better 

(Continued Next Page) 

14 — 


. . . STUDENT 

understanding of the bureaucratic 
mentality and how to deal with it. 

3. They have had an education in po- 
litical alignments and how politi- 
cal power is distributed.- They 

. know better how power is, achieved 
and held. 

4. They have developed serious doubts 
about the Democratic Party and 
in many cases overt hostility to- 
ward it. 

5. They have had an education in 
tactics, especially in the uses and 
limitations of civil disobedience. 

6. They learned about the unrelia- 
bility of the press. Even The 
Chronicle lies. 

7. They have received an education 
on the role and nature of the po- 

8. The faculty felt, correctly, that 
they had lost the respect of their 

These points are very well taken, and 
some require further elaboration. Per- 
sons not acquainted with the Berkeley 
situation should bear in mind that this 
is not a reactionary institution run 
by political and academic Neander- 
thals. On the contrary, it is a truly 
liberal institution. Its president is se- 
riously considered for a Cabinet post 
in the Great Society administration. 
The most clearly political of its Re- 
gents are in a majority Democratic ap- 
pointees, many by the liberal Democrat 
Brown who called out the troopers. Even 
Scalapino, Kerr's faculty spokesman at 
the Greek Theater meeting, had earned 
a liberal reputation both in his academic 
work and as a radio commentator. The 
faculty has a strong liberal leaning, 
especially in the liberal arts, and those 
faculty members like Glaser, Feuer, 
and Lipset who were most vicious 
against the FSM had a reputation as 
left liberals and even aspired, in the 
case of Feuer and Lipset, to be con- 
sidered some sort of radicals. The mor- 
al collapse of such an institution and 
such a set of individuals cannot but, 
for the students involved, sweep away 
much of the liberal myth in its wake. 

The lesson in power is also of vital 
importance and two sided. If the move- 
ment had any collective heroes, it was 
the teaching assistants, the elite of the 
graduate student body. Given the pres- 
ent set-up, this group, previously of 
low status and apparently powerless 
and exposed to the worst hazat-ds of 
reprisal and victimization, has in ac- 
tuality the power "to bring the ma- 
chinery to a grinding halt." In the 
December strike they discovered that 
power and used it. They are not likely 
to lose this consciousness, nor aware- 
ness of the fact that their role has 

won the r€spect of faculty and under- 
graduates alike. The teaching assist- 
ants now have a viable trade union 
affiliated with the AFT. 

There is also the negative side of 
the power equation. The students have 
learned that even after totally de- 
feating the administration within the 
academic community the administra- 
tion still stands, intact, because the 
ultimate sources of power lie with the 
outside power structure, represented 
by the Regents. More* and more stu- 
dents see this power structure cor- 
rectly, not as a bureaucratic monster 
but, by one name or another, as a self- 
conscious, organized ruling class. Its 
academic representatives, Kerr, Strong, 
and the like, have much autonomy, and 
ordinarily its many internal splits ob- 
scure its character. But when the chips 
were down in the FSM fight, it acted 
as a disciplined, conscious class. Know- 
land and Brown were united. This 
lesson too is not lost. To return for a 
momept to the comments of Starobin: 
"The greatest single gain of the FSM 
is the politicization to one degree or 
another of a major portion of the stu- 
dent body." 

This struggle also appears to mark 
the end of principled non-violence as 
an issue in this area. Faced with 
armed cops in the hundreds, the stu- 
dents were obviously in no position to 
adopt tactics of self-defense, so that 
the question was never sharply posed. 
However, the whole, spirit of convert- 
ing the enemy through love, the self- 
righteous condemnation of "un-CORE- 
like attitudes" which had been a dom- 
inant theme in dthe actions around 1960 
was notably absent. The students were 
most grateful for the support of folk- 
singer Joan Baez, for example, but 
when she called on them to enter 
Sproul Hall with love in hearts this 
plea was received with considerable 
cynicism. When, during the arrests at 
Sproul Hall, a large detachment of po- 
lice tried to seize the microphone of 
the public address system which the 
students were using to address the 
crowd in the plaza, the students re- 
sisted by grkbbing the policemen's legs 
and clubs, trying to trip them, and in 
general pushing non-violence to its 
extreme limits. For the demonstra- 
tions following the HUAC affair in 
1960, male students were told author- 
itatively to wear jackets and ties if at 
all possible. Now, however, the search 
for middle-class respectability is treat- 
ed with contempt, and on the ideolog- 
ical level the doctrine of pacifism, 
though still strong, no longer predom- 

A F«w Questions 
For Marxists and revolutionaries 
the whole FSM must be not only a 
source of great satiafaction and inspi- 

ration but also the occasion of raising 
some serious questions. The first and 
most obvious of these is to what ex- 
tent can we expect similar phenomena 
elsewhere? Really, this is the same as 
saying, "Why Berkeley?" A number 
of reasons suggest themselves.. First, 
The University of California is prob- 
ably more heavily infiltrated by the 
federal governriient, and especially by 
the military and the AEC, than any 
other major university. This increasing 
identity between the government in its 
most coercive aspect and the Univer- 
sity has had its effect on the over-all 
institution, to the detriment of free 
scholarship and undergraduate in- 
struction. Second, Berkeley is a pres- 
tige university, in academic standing 
second probably only to Harvard. It is 
indisputable that it is among the best 
students that the disaffected are to be 
found. An independent study of the 
academic standing of those arrested in 
Sproul Hall, for example, revealed 
that they had a grade-point average 
much higher than that of the general 
student body. Indeed, a local sports 
columnist suggested that the best way 
to lick the Reds in FSM was to give 
more athletic scholarships to deserving 
patriotic footballers who couldn't make 
the grade at present. 

Third, the local bourgeoisie tends to 
have more of a coexistence attitude 
toward dissidence than elsewhere . . . 
up to a point! Bay Area cops beat 
where New York cops would shoot. 
The local labor movement too is in- 
fluenced by a large unmber of ex- 
radicals who retain the rhetoric of 
their past while jettisoning its con- 
tent. In such an atmosphere it is easier 
for dissidence to gain a foothold. 

Fourth, Berkeley has accumulated 
over the years a sizable fringe of dis- 
affected semi-bohemian elements who, 
while they have no formal connection 
with the University, cluster around it 
and form a supportive element for 
student radicals. Among these fringe 
elements are many radicals who, while 
not yet ready to quit politics alto- 
gether, are also not anxious to pursue 
them strenuously, and find in Berkeley 
an atmosphere conducive to living on 
their political light-duty slips. In short, 
the student radical does not face a 
harshly hostile environment once he 
steps beyond Sather Gate. 

Fifth, there is the class character of 
the student body itself which is drawn 
mainly from the intelligentsia, the 
professional classes, and the comfort- 
able section of the working class. Pop 
may have been a working man, but the 
home has provided enough security to 
make chance-taking possible. In a pe- 
riod like the present the response is 
bound to be greater among these mid- 
dle-class ' elements than among th« 

children of the working class in such 
nei^boring institutions as Oakland 
City College. There, working class stu- 
dents are desperately anxious to get 
out of the class and won't jeopardize 
their chances by agitating. Finally, all 
of this of course is self-reinforcing. 
The word gets around and dissatisfied 
elements transfer in' from the Univer- 
sity of Nebraska. 

At the moment the Berkeley cam- 
pus seems isolated from the rest of the 
students in America. However, the 
news is being spread by direct con- 
tact, and the media are now taking it 
up more seriously. FSM leaders ex- 
pect that the isolation will end soon, 
and their- expectation may be well 
founded. Surely where similar condi- 
tions prevail and where there is suf- 
ficient provocation, the same underly- 

ing dissatisfactions may be expected 
to find open expression in forms influ- 
enced by the FSM experience. 

Role of the Left 
The FSM was not hostile to the tra- 
ditional left, and there was absolutely 
no red-baiting. Rapport with the va- 
rious left tendencies, and FSM iden- 
dification with left ideologies, was lim- 
ited, however, by a number of factors. 
One, of course, is the traditional Amer- 
ican pragmatism and eclecticism, in 
which the Free Speech Movement par- 
ticipates. The FSM and its allied or- 
ganizations have been unable to jell 
an over-all ideological attitude. The 
impact of the organized left was furth- 
er diminished by its highly fragmented 
state with Stalinists, Trotskyists, and 
social-democrats all split and in one 
degree or another of disarray. More- 
over, the majority of the FSM people 
have a strong reaction against what 
they interpret as infantile factionalism 
and sectarian attitudes. Given the stu- 
dents' pragmatic, attitudes, the inabil- 
ity of the left in the last quarter cen- 

tury to create a mass movement or to 
develop impressive intellectual leader- 
ship significantly reduces its appeal. 
The empiricism which infects Ameri- 
can society generally has not left the 
radical movement unscathed. Having 
lost confidence in its own role, the left 
tends to deprecate the need for theory 
and wax euphoric at each outburst of 
militancy, happy to follow where it 
would never think to lead. 

More fundamental, however, is the 
fact that objective circumstances do 
not permit the students to link up 
with decisive social forces. This rein- 
forces their tendency to see their strug- 
gles in isolation. Although many ele- 
ments among them would be overjoyed 
at the prospect of outside support, 
they see a working class in actuality 
largely passive, if not hostile, to their 

aspirations, and because of their own 
middle-class character they are cut off 
from" what small sparks of militancy 
do exist. 

These factors taken together have 
tended to make the FSM regard the 
ideology of all the left groupings as 
equally irrelevant. This empiricism is a 
serious weakness in the movement. No 
one with a realistic view of the scene 
would expect this mass movement to 
submit meekly to the embraces of some 
branch of the traditional left, to accept 
uncritically the pre-conceived ideology 
of the older groups. However, if the 
necessity, of a world view of sufficient 
clarity is not recognized, the move- 
ment stands in peril of dissipation and 
disintegration in the face of larger 
questions which can be approached 
only in the light of a more general 

The movement can ill aff'ord to re- 
peat all the errors and false starts of 
previous generations whose efforts in 
the main ended in downright betrayal 
of the subjective, desires and inten- 
tions of the participants. The past*can 

only be transcended by learning from 
it, not ignoring it. Otherwise, for ex- 
ample, the same stale old class-collab- 
orationist platitudes that sunk th« 
movements of the 1930'3 through sup- 
port of Roosevelt and then of World 
War II would seem like exciting new 
ways to manipulate for radical ends 
capitalist-imperialist politicians like 
Pat Brown, Lyndon Johnson, and their 

Bridging the gap with living strug- 
gles is also a vital necessity for the 
Marxist movement. To succeed would 
be revitalizing, organizatiohally and 
ideologically. To fail would encourage 
all those sick symptoms which grow 
out of prolonged .isolation and impo- 
tence. There is no reason to be unduly 
pessimistic concerning the possibility 
of making this link. The FSM is now 
entering its evaluation stage and is 
breaking down into its component 
parts. It has been highly politicized 
and has been exposed to the power 
structure which many of its supporters 
have come to see clearly as a ruling 
class. With this basis, continued open- 
ness on the part of the students and 
an approach by the Revolutionary left, 
at once ideologically self-confident and 
also willing to recognize the unique 
break-through which the students have 
achieved on their own, can build an 
enduring and powerful movement, an 
ihiportant step toward the creation of 
a revolutionary force in the United 

Two Currents in FSM 
Finally, it is noticeable that< two 
separate currents come together in 
FSM. One, whiph supplies a large part 
of its leadership, especially on the tac- 
tical level, consists of those for whom 
the primary issue is one of certain 
specific rights and demands, freedom 
of advocacy and organization, freedom 
from unreasonable harassment by the 
authorities. What these elements want 
is enough elbow room to conduct their 
political and social campaigns, at this 
point primarily around civil rights, but 
including other issues as well. 

There is another current which joins 
this one, and for whom the symbol of 
the enemy is the IBM machine. They 
speak less in terms of civil rights and 
civil liberties, of political and social 
action", than in terms of alienation, of 
the intellectual degradation of the uni- 
versity by the multiversity, knowledge 
factory, concept. They feel cheated in 
their education, and dehumanized by a 
soulless machine. Only a small minor- 
ity of those yf/ho suppoi;ted FSM wei-fe 
interested in personally participating 
in political and social action. FSM be- 
came a truly mass movement because 
of this second current — because these 

(Continued Next Page) 


What Is 

Permanent Revolution? 


15 pages — 10c a copy 
Order from: SPARTACIST 
Box 1377, G.P.O., New York, N. Y. 10001 



MAY-JUNE 1965 

. . . STUDENT 

students felt that this way they could 
strike back at the machine, reassert 
their humanity and individuality, and 
perhaps make the University into a 
true community of scholars. Their mor- 
al integrity is one of the most impres- 
sive things about the FSM revolt. 

However, while the first current, the 
politicals, were able to win the limited 
demands they were fighting for — that 
is, in essence, more favorable condi- 
tions for their underground movement 
— the hopes of the second group were 
doomed to disappointment. True, after 
the Academic Senate meeting of De- 
cember 8 there was a brief period of 
euphoria when it seemed that honest 
communication and mutual respect 
could be established between faculty 
and students, and that the community 
of scholars could exist apart from and 
in spite of external social forces; but 
already now this mood is evaporating, 
the old barriers coming up again, the 
faculty retreating, and the IBM ma- 
chines are clicking on. As long as the 
university is a vital part of the cap- 
italist establishment no community of 
scholars can exist, and the moral cor- 
ruption of moribund capitalism must 
taint the campus as well as every other 
social institution. This section of the 
students, naive if you will, hoped with 
the aid of the faculty to be able to 
take the University away from the rul- 
ing class. This was a vain illusion, of 

■fhe bourgeoisie will no more give up 
its knowledge factory than it will its 
General Motors plant, and it needs the 
one as much as the other. Some edu- 
cational reform may be forthcoming, 
but nothing that will meet the needs 
of thes^ students. The question is, 
then, what will their reaction be? On 
the one hand, it could be a retreat into 
a personal world, marijuana and bo- 
hemianism for some, and surrendei^ to 
split-level values for others, and in 
both cases disillusionment and cyni- 
cism. But this is not necessarj^ They 
have^been in intimate contact now with 
the Underground opposition, the civil 
rights advocates and the politicals. 
There is genuine communication and 
respect between the two groups, and 
perhaps their values can lead them to 
understand that the road to the free 
university, and the intellectual free- 
dom and honesty that this concept im- 
plies, lies only through the oyerthrow 
of the capitalist systein which cor- 
rupts their environment.' In that case 
we m^y come to see a transformation 
of . the whole social and political cli- 
mate in the United States. 

The University and Capitalism 
With .the changes which are cur- 


Geoffrey White 

rently taking place within the struc- 
ture of western capitalism, the uni- 
versity becomes a more and more criti- 
cal part of the over-all system. As 
automation eats away at the tradition- 
al working class and the white collar 
elements as well, the bourgeoisie more 
and more needs its trained specialists. 
Not| only have they technical tasks of 
the highest order to perform, but the 
bourgeoisie is also in increasing need 
of reliable and skilled ideologues and 
of social engineers to manage the man- 
ipulated society. Their dilemma is that 
this job cannot be done by third rate, 
unskilled, uncreative people. Giving 
more athletic scholarships won't meet 
their needs. Their professional people, 
if they are to do the job, must have 
education as well as training. But to 
the degree that education, intellectual 
freedom, and creativity are permitted, 
to this degree there i.s the danger of 
the kind of revolt which took place in 

It was a middle class revolt of peo- 
ple to whom the system offered its 
most attractive material rewards, and 
status gratifications too. These stu- 
dents had it made, but in the FSM re- 
volt they rejected the whole set of val- 
ues and assumptions of the split-level 
society. What they want is something 
else, not yet sharply defined but not to 
be found in the Great Society. But the 
Great Society needs these students, 
and in their revolt against it they ex- 
pose a sickness in that society from 
which it is not likely to recover. ■ 

list in 

The Bay Area Spartacist Committee 
offered a socialist alternative to Berk- 
eley electors this April. The campaign 
attacked the liberal Democratic major- 
ity of the City Council as political abet- 
tors of the Vietnam atrocity and of the 
Johnson diversion of the civil rights 
movement. The campaign platform 
centered on the demand for immediate 
and unconditional U.S. withdrawal 
from Vietnam and support of the right 
of American Negroes to armed self- 
defense in the face of racist violence. 
Local demands featured rigorous rent 
control, thirty-hour week for city em- 
ployees, and abolition of the police red 

The candidate for Berkeley City 
Councilman, Geoff White, -West Coast 
Spartacist editor, received 2,051 votes, 
about 6 percent of the total, against a 
full slate of liberals. He had previously 
run for the same office in 1963 as a 
candidate of the SWP. 

Support of the candidacy was asked 
from those groups calling themselves 
revolutionary-socialist. White was en- 
dorsed by the Independent Socialist 
Club, of which Hal Draper is a leading 
figure; PL refused endorsement; and 
the SWP had not arrived at a position 
by the time of the election. The SWP 
^ candidates for Oakland Mayor and 
School Board were publicly endorsed by 
the Spartacist Committee, but critic- 
ally so in view of the SWP's central 
campaign slogan '.'Withdraw troops 
from Vietnam, Send them to Ala- 
bama." High points of White's cam- 
paign were a speech from the steps of 
the University's Sproul Hall, scene of 
the mass sit-in during the recent stu- 
dent rebellion, and a three-way debate 
with representatives of the liberal and 
conservative slates. ■ 



Box 1377. G.P.O. 
New York, N. Y. 10001 

twelve issues — $1 
six issues — 50^ 

Name — - 

Address - - 




The United States' bloody occupation 
of the Dominican Republic, by order of 
the Johnson Administration, has been 
unquestionably the most brazen of re- 
cent American military efforts to safe- 
gruard the interests of capitalism and 
maintain its oppression domestically and 
abroad. "For the first time since 1927, 
U.S. Marines have landed in a ferment- 
ing Caribbean country — and frankly, 
we're delighted," said the ultra-rightist 
N.y. Daily News (30 April 1965) in an 
editorial entitled "Seems Like Old 

Rebellkn Led to B«Tolati<m 

As in all colonial countries, the pro- 
U.S. Dominican ruling class is main- 
tained by imperialism and in return 
administers the society for imperialism. 
The "liberal" wing, led by deposed 
President Juan Bosch, supports "re- 
forms" and "democratic" trappings to 
stave off basic change and maintain 
social oppression. The liberals attempted 
a coup against the junta of the right 
wing, which realizes that only naked 
dictatorship can save imperialism and 
Dominican capitalism. It is significant 
that under both regimes the economic 
condition of the country deteriorated. 

This crisis provided an opportunity 
for the Dominican workers and peasants 
to intervene, much as they had done in 
1962 when Trujillo was assassinated. 
The fatal mistake of Bosch and Colonel 
Caamano in banking upon mass support 
to help return the liberals to power was 
described by a pro-U.S. observer: "The 
leaders of the elements favoring the 
return of former President Juan Bosch 
were on the verge of taking over the 
government 24 hours after the revolu- 
tion begran. . . . But thm they let the 
revolution get out of their hands. I saw 
pro-Bosch forces handing out weapons 
to anyone who asked for them." (N.Y. 
Joumal^Ameriean, 2 May 1965.) On 30 
April, "U.S. officials in Santo Domingo 
and other observers believe no one is 
now in control ... of the armed rebel 
bands, which include many young civili- 
ans." At this point, "American officials 
hinted strongly that it would be neces- 
sary for American troops to occupy 
Santo Domingo." (N.Y. Post.) 

In spite of U.S. ranting about a "mi- 
nority take-over," it is clear that what 
developed was an uprising of a large 
section of the masses against the impe- 
rialist power structure — even against 
the efforts of certain "Communist" and 
liberal leaders to tie them to Bosch. Ac- 
cording to the press, a rebel stronghold 


The Dominican Revolution! 


has been the Ciudad Neuva section of 
the city, "an area of low income housing 
and student quarters. Planes strafed the 
area Wednesday and yesterday." (Her- 
ald Tribuve, 30 April.) On 2 May, "the 
rebels were winning." Their forces, 
swollen to thousands "by armed civilians 
. . . could not be controlled by their mili- 
tary leaders." (Same paper) Johnson 
at once sent in Marines to "save Ameri- 
can lives"; but this "humanitarian" pre- 
text, loudly touted by liberal apologists, 
was rapidly dropped. Instead, as John- 
son has admitted, the aim of U.S. inter- 
vention was to crush the developing 

Realpolitik Behind Intervention 

William Randolph Hearst, Jr., in a 
Journal- American editorial (2 May), 
favorably quoted Johnson's State of the 
Union message of 4 January: "We are 
prepared to live as good neighbors with 
all, but we cannot be indifferent to acts 
designed to injure our interests, or our 
ciitzens, or our establishments abroad." 
Barry Goldwater "stressed the effective- 
ness of 'big stick' diplomacy" and said, 
"Yes, I approve the landing of the Ma- 
rines in Santo Domingo for the protec- 
tion of American lives and property." 
(Journal- American, 30 April.) 

Equally guided by Realpolitik are the 
liberal apologists who regret Johnson's 
"imprudence" in "going it alone" in un- 
abashed imperialist fashion instead of 
relying on the Organization of Ameri- 
can States (mainly a band of U.S.- 
backed dictatorships) to do the job un- 
der a "democratic" facade. The token 
contingent which Johnson finally extort- 
ed from the OAS to his "international 
peace force" has been obviously design- 
ed to whitewash his butchery behind a 
drapery of phony "legality" and "con- 
sensus." It is now obvious that Johnson 
has not sent 20,000 troops to suppress 
a Communist "minority," but to fight 
thousands of workers and rank-and-file 
Dominican militants who partly by- 
passed their "Communist" and liberal 
leaders and rallied the support of the 
Dominican masses to a popular revolu- 
tion against imperialism. Johnson's 
"concern" about the "foreign training" 
of agitators was designed to divert at- 
tention away from the direct rape of 
the Dominican Republic by a foreign 
occupation army. The sensationalism 
about the "atrocity" of rebels killing 
cops and Marines was designed to mask 
the strafing and bombing of the working- 
class areas of the city to smash the revo- 
lution. Indeed, imperialism must clearly 

be desperate to commit such a brazen 
and naked act. 

Crisis of Leadership 

Castro and other "Communist" lead- 
ers have shown their bankruptcy in sup- 
porting the capitalist "legality" of 
Bosch and calling upon the imperialist- 
dominated United Nations to "inter- 
vene." The absence of a truly revolu- 
tionary Dominican party to guide the 
working class and lead the revolution 
has resulted in confusion among the 
rebelling masses. The old-line leaders 
have done their best to abort the revolu- 
tion and negotiate a "truce" with im- 
perialism. The swearing-in of Boschite 
military leader Caamaiio as "President" 
has been due in good part to the efforts 
of these leaders to channel the masses 
back into a "popular front" with the 
ruling class. The agreement of these 
elements to a "cease fire" even in the 
face of an imperialist build-up has help- 
ed disarm the revolution and facilitated 
further bloodbaths. The success of the 
revolution can be guaranteed only by 
the Dominican workers' conquest of 
state power, under the leadership of a 
revolutionary party, and the establish- 
ment of a Dominican workers' republic. 
All such advances reciprocally strength- 
en the socialist revolution in the United 
States and the world. 


NYC Committee, 6 May 1965 



lei 1377. •.P.O. 
New York. N. Y. 10001 
twelve iuues — $1 
six iuues — 50< 

Name _ 



NOV.-DEC. 1965 

Arming the Negro Struggle . . . page 5 
Trotsky and Revolution . . . page 8 
Algerian Coup and Revisionism . . . page 12 



The reign of terror heiiiK carried out by the Indo- 
nesian army against the \voi-l<:ing class of that country 
folloAvs logically from a process of treachery tragically 
familiar in the annals of woi-king class struggle. The 
working pef)pl(J of Indonesia are now paiiiin/ iiuth their 
bln(,d for the betrayal by the leadership of the 3,000.000- 
memher, pro-Chinese C'onmuinist Part\- of Indonesia 
(PKI ), which must share guilt for the present violence. 
Workei-s and militants of all countiies, particularly 
those who look to the VV of China for "revolutionary" 
example and direction, cannot afford to ignore the warn- 
ing of this classic lesson. 

Mao's Peaceful Coexistence 

Guided by the Mao government's "bloc of four 
classes" doctrine and need for "Peaceful Coexistence" 
with "progressive, non-aligned" capitalist "friends," 
such as Indonesian President Sukarno (a former col- 
laborator with colonialism), the I'KI — largest Com- 
munist party in the cajjitalist world — has been helping 
administer Indonesian cai)italism while suppressing the 
struggles of the Indonesian workers and keeping them 
wedded to Sukarno's polic<^-state. Meanwhile the Chi- 
nese press has heaped continuous praise upon Sukarno, 
mentioning nothing of Indonesia's poverty-stricken 
economy, the abysmally poor conditions of Indonesian 
workei's, Sukarno's militai-y aid to Laotian right-wing- 
ers, etc. (This position has been echoed by Maoists in 
the U.S. ; the October 1965 issue of Progressive Labor 
magazine reprints a "revolutionary" speech of Sukarno, 
apparently ks a contribution to "Marxism-Leninism"!) 

Nowhere is the Maoist opportunism of the PKI better 
reflected than in their adherence to "Bung (Brother) 
Karno's" cynical strategy of "Nasakom" — a Popular 
Front of nationalists, religious groups, and Stalinists 
under the roof of class collaboration. Following this 
policy, the PKI concerned itself with the "national in- 
terests" of the Indonesian bourgeoisie, pressured for 
reforms, and endeavored to woo various ministers and 
sections of the military leadership over to its "struggle 
against U.S. imperialism." Accepting Sukarno's prom- 
ise to arm the workers and peasants "if necessary," the 
PKI called for "co-operation between the people and the 
Armed Forces," and to offset unrest over Indonesir.'o 
economic deterioration raised as a major slogan "For 
the Maintenance of Civil Order, Help the Police!" This 
counter-revolutionary policy led directly to the present 
violence and the Army's work is undoubtedly facilitated 
by it. 

In return for its aid, "Bung Karno" bestowed cabinet 
posts and other favors upon the PKI, including outlaw- 
ing left-wing political opposition (indiscriminately 
labeled "Trotskyist" by the Maoists). This symbiotic 
relationship was further illustrated last March, when 

TO THE POINT. Signs carried at Soviet UN Mis- 
sion picket line called by NLF Aid Committee de- 
manding USSR and China give real aid to Vietnam. 
Photo taken next day at anti-Johnson protest. 

Communist petroleum workers took control of Standard 
Vacuum's refineries at Sungei Gerong and Pendopo. 
Instead of consolidating these gains and pursuing a 
program directed toward workers' power, the PKI 
allov.-ed the Sukarno government to give back these 
plants to their imperialist owners. Foreign Minister 
Subandrio, another "friend" of the PKI, issued apolo- 
gies to the firms and assured them that "there would 
be no further embarrassment of Americans" (N. Y. 
Times, 19 March 1965). Two months later, at the cele- 
bration of the 45th anniversary of the PKI, the party 
cHiairman D. N. Aidit eulogized His Excellency: 
"Amotig us . . . is Bung Karno. The clear sky above ics 
is witness to it. Thousands of eyes see him. Millions of « 
people are listening to him over the radio and watching 
him on their TV screens. . . . Sukarno's portrait hangs 
beside those of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Stalin." 

Proletarian Leadership 

Modern history has amplj' demonstrated that the out- 
standing problem facing the international working class 
is the question of leadership — i.e., the necessity for an 
international revolutionary party which, on the basis 
of its program, can lead the working people to the con- 
quest of state power in every country. A fui'ther illus- 
tration of the counter-revolutionary nature of Maoism 
and its own version of "Peaceful Coexistence" is China's 
cynical support to the recent "palace coup" in Algeria 
(where, unlike Indonesia, Peking does not control the 
mass party of the poor) — idiotically parroted in the 
U.S. by the Progressive Labor Party's judgment that 
(in spite of Boumedienne's recent oil give-away to 
France) the coup was a "revolutionary advance" be- 
(Continued on Page 4) 

2 — 



—published bimonthly by supporters of the Revolutionary 
Tendency expelled from the Socialist Workers Party. 

EDITOR: James Robertson 
West Coast EDITOR: Geoffrey White 

Subscription: 50^ yearly. Bundle rates for 10 or more copies. 
Main address: Box 1377, G.P.O., New York, N. Y. 10001. Tele- 
phone: UN 6-3093. Western address: P.O. Box 852, Berkeley, Calif. 
94701. Telephone: JH 8-7369. 

Opinions expressed in signed articles do not necessarily repre- 
sent an editorial viewpoint. 

Number 5 x saa Nov.-Dec. 1965 



To the American Committee for the Fourth 
International and to 'Spartactst*: 

The I.e. regards as the most urgent requirement of 
the working class the building of a section of the 
Fourth International in the United States, as part of the 
reconstruction of the Fourth International. 

Crisis of U.S. Capitalism 

As the wor4d economic and political crisis of capital- 
ism deepens, so the U.S. in particular falls victim to the 
sharpest conflicts and contradictions, the necessary con- 
sequences of its very dominance, economic, political and 
military, in world capitalism. The Vietnam war, the Ne- 
gro movement expressed in Los Angeles and Chicago, 
the growing pressure on the whole of the American 
working class of the mounting economic difficulties of 
the U.S. economy, are the most violent expression of an 
international crisis. 

At the same time, the intensification of U.S. capital- 
ism's crisis has been accompanied by the most pro- 
nounced revisionism and liquidationism in the Trotsky- 
ist movement. Farrell Dobbs' letter to Mrs. Kennedy and 
the subsequent .abandonment of all class positions by the 
Socialist Workers Party have demonstrated the victory 
of revisionism in the S.W.P. placing great responsibility 
upon those who accept the positions of the International 

Toward A United IC Section 

We call upon those in the U.S. who accept the Transi- 
tional Programme and the policy and programme of the 
I.e. to collaborate with us in preparing with us the 
International Conference of 1966. 

Trotsky, before he died, insisted upon the necessity 
of a struggle for dialectical materialism and against 
the dominant pragmatism of American philosophy and 
politics. Dialectical materialism can be defended only 
by developing Marxist theory in living connection with 
the activity of the working class revolutionary party. 

Such a party cannot carry out its wovk without con- 
crete perspectives for the class struggle in the United 
States. Such a perspective is an urgent nece.^s^ity for 
the American working class. 

Not only the I.C.'s collaborators in the .^.C.F.T. but 
also the 'Spartacist' group, have oxpiossed agieement 
with our international resolution; thus tliLue is a clear 
basis for agreement on American perspectives. With- 
out this there will be no development of Marxism in 
the United States. 

We call upon comrades in the A. C.F.I, and 'Sparta- 
cist' to accept their responsibility along these lines, 
and to work first and foremost to build a united section 
of the International Committee of the Fourth Interna- 
tional in the United States. ' 

3 October 1905 


Press Release: 


At the third meeting of the Committee for Fifth 
Avenue Vietnam Peace Parade, held on September 29, 
1965, Albert Nelson speaking for Spartacist announced 
Spartacist's withdrawal from the Committee on the 
basis that it was politically dominated by right-wing 
pacifists and liberals and had established a policy of 
exclusion of all but the most moderate viewpoints in 
the scheduled activities of October 16. 


The Committee is coordinating activities in New 
York City in preparation for the Natit)nal Vietnam 
Day demonstrations on October 16. While formally com- 
posed only of individuals, the Committee includes rep- 
resentatives from the Progressive T.abor Party, Social- 
ist Workers^ Party, Workers World, Young Socialist 
Alliance, Youth Against War and Fascism, May 2 Move- 
ment, American Committee for the Fourth Internation- 
al, Communist Party, N.Y. SANE, War Resisters 
League, Socialist Party, "Liberation" magazine, Clym- 
mittee for Non-Violent Action, and a number of other 
organizations. Previous meetings on September 15 and 
22 had decided in favor of 07ie slogan for the Parade, 
"Stop the War in Vietnam Now," and a speakers list 
for the Rally that features Dr. Spock, A. J. Muste, Russ 
Nixon, Dave Gilbert, Dagmar Wilson, Norman Thomas, 
and others. 

Meeting of 29 September 

Chairman Dave Dellinger had opened the meeting 
with a statement that apparently the difficulties of the 
previous meeting concerning political representation 
had been resolved to the satisfaction of everyone. In 
the Organization Report that followed, Dellinger indi- 
cated that four additions had been made to the Admin- 
istrative Committee, the four representing in effect the 
Communist Party, Workers World, Welfare Workers 
Vietnam Committee, and Movimiento Pro Independen- 

Statement by Albert Nelson 

At the conclusion of the Organization Report, Albert 


— 3 

Nelson from Spartacist made the following remarks: 
"At the last meeting on September 22, we raised 
serious objections to the 'one slogan' policy and the 
political compoHiiion of the Rally speakers list. 

"Had ice been invited to the first meeting on Sep- 
tember 1') irlieic the substantial issue of non-exclusion 
n-as di:^c/'ssed and decided, we would have made our 
views knoirit. then. We objected to the concept that this 
is a committee of 'individuals' rather than organiza- 
tions. Bii.t of course votes are taken on the basis of 
organization and not individuals since that is the re- 
ality, hi an attempt to obscure the exclusion taking 
place, speakers for the rally were chosen on the basis 
of artificial 'representative' categories: Women, Art, 
Negroes, Puerto Ricans, Students, Marxist-anti-Impe- 
rialists, etc., icith one speaker from each category. But 
our objections are not simply petty organizational 
grievances — they are political ones. 

"Since the last meeting we have carefully considered 
these issues as loell as the line of the Call that has been 
issued and have decided that we can no longer partici- 
pate in this committee on a principled political basis. 
Therefore we announce our withdrawal and request 
that our name be removed from the list of sponsors of 
the demonstration. 

Stop WHOSE War in Vietnam? 

"The slogan 'Stop the War in Vietnam Now' can 
mean many things to many people. But given the com- 
position of this Committee, the fact that it is dominated 
by right-wing pacifists and 'liberals,' i.e., pro-capital- 
ist and pro-LBJ, it is clear that the slogan is deliberate- 
ly ambiguous in order to avoid facing the duty to 
advance the only demand that has any meaning: 'For 
the Immediate, Unconditional Withdraival of All U.S. 
Troops from Vietnam!' Instead of this, the Call de- 
mands that 'all foreign troops' be removed from Viet- 
nam. This is only an endorsement of the position of the 
U.S. Government. Further, we are not simply for stop- 
ping the war, but rather for the victory of the social 
revolution that is taking place in Vietnam. It is absurd, 
and against the interest of the revolution, to call simply 
for disengagement of forces, and implies a confidence 
in the integrity of U.S. Imperialism to keep such a bar- 
gain. You have completely obscured what we think is 
the most important character of the Vietnam war — that 
this is a naked, ruthless intervention by U.S. Imperial- 
ism to interrupt and drive back a social revolution in 
Vietnam, a revolution that is the only road to freedom 
for the Vietnamese working masses. We are not neutral 
in this. What is involved is not simply a matter of self- 
determination or moral indignation or national security 
or the honor and reputation of the American people as 
the Call indicates. The best defense of the Vietnamese 
revolution in this country is to build a militant anti- 
xvar movement strong enough to compel the United 
States to get out of Vietnam! 

For Real United Action! 

"There are many people in this committee with whom 
we share a number of positions on a range of issues 
including Vietnam. As in the past, we stand ready to 
work fully and loyally with you on the basis of political 
agreement. But we cannot be a party to this committee 
as it is presently constituted, containing forces that in 
a class sense are simply not compatible. 

"This split might have been avoided by a policy of 

gevvine 7?cr'-'\- ' ■ ■ ', (/v' r a"' -prUt'cc! vieicpoints 
could he e'Sjh roiih] Jmrc meant, of course, 

that SAX!^ r/s /< nuhl inivp left the com- 

m II tee as thi ,•/ hm-r liinolcnnl iu do. Instead, in the 
name of 'imitii.' nn,' harr cnni hi in il vith these right- 
viiKj fliDit'iits anil rill,.--'',, iriisl rdla fliis alternative 
anJ siiji])rcss nil In'l ,'hc nmst 'respectable' political 
vieirs. The Snt i'(ili:<t II'r,'/7, rr.N- Parly has deliberately 
acted as a bi-oJyr f', eeirieiit- tJils unprincipled alliance. 
Well, ive fur one raii'e iMir political viewpoints more 
than ice do si'eh a fake ':':uU!.' 

"All those irl.o reeounize tJie truth, of what I have 
said should serioiishi reevusi/Jer their continued par^ 
ticvpafiou in this cnnni iltee and act accordingly." 

At the .coiKlusion tif tWesf remarks, the Spartacist 
delegation left ll;e rjuvi 

Correspondence : 

New York, N.Y. 

Re : 5th Avenue Peace Parade 

Let me congratulate you and your organization for 
your insistence on your right to bear slogans in the 
projected "Peace" parade calling for the immediate 
withdrawal of American troops from Vietnam. Any 
position less than tliis is objective aid to the Johnson 
Doctrine of armed iulei veiit ion against tbe social revo- 
lution where ever it may hi-eak. 

Revolutionaries, above all, should be forthright and 
unequivocal in supporting a victory for the social revo- 
lution in Vietnam. This means the backing of the Na- 
tional Liberatit)n Front aiul the Demociatic Republic of 

Conrad J. Lynn 


New York, N. Y. 
'12 October 1965 

The National Guardian 
New York, N. Y. 
Dear Friends : 

I would like to correct an error in your excellent re- 
porting of the New York Anti-war parade. Spartacist, 
not the Committee to Aid the NLF, authored the signs 
bearing the demands: (1) "VIETNAM, WATTS: IT'S 
TIATIONS!"; and also another not cited by you, (3) 

I offer this correction without any intention of dis- 
paraging the good people of the NLF Committee with 
whom we marched, but simply to take responsibility for 
our own slogans which were carried on placards signed 
by Spartacist. 

This is a not unimportant matter inasmuch as we 
had earlier resigned from the Parade Committee so as 
to be free from its decision at SANE's insistence to 
carry only one (unacceptable) compromise slogan in the 
parade, instead of a democratic non-exclusionist policy. 

James Robertson, 
editor of SPARTACIST 

4 — 


. . . BETRA YAL 

(Continued from Page 1) 
cause of Boumedienne's rejection of the "Trotskyites," 
Yugoslavs, etc., who "surrounded" Ben Bella (China's 
former "friend") and because of his "staunch support" 
of Peking's upcoming Afro-Asian Conference {Chal- 
lenge, 27 July). Mao's former "ally," the Indian govern- 
ment, is now an imperialist pawn, as China's new 
"friend," Pakistan, was yesterday, and will be tomorrow. 
Similar pursuits have led the Mao government to sus- 
pend struggle in one country after another while seek- 
ing collaboration with capitalist or feudal rulers such 
as Prince Sihanouk of Cambodia or the "patriotic bour- 
geoisie" of Japan "against U.S. imperialism." 

Counter-revolutionary Maoi^ 

This line towai'd Japan, carried out by the big pro- 
Maoist Japanese Communist Party, has the gravest 
strategic consequences of all. Japan with its exceptional 
economic vulnerability and instability, its militant, or- 

What Is The 
Permanent Revolution? 


15 pages — 10c a copy 
Order from: Spartacist 
Box 1377, G.P.O., New York, N. Y. 10001 

ganized working class and radical student movement, 
has been ripe for building a mass revolutionary party. 
At each point Chinese policy has deflected the prole- 
tariat from this course. A proletarian revolution in 
Japan, the industrial powerhouse of Asia, would pro- 
foundly alter the relationship of forces upon the whole 
planet. Such a revolution could only be carried out by a 
working class acting through Soviets, armed and with a 
conscious party at its head — everything that China is 
not. Overnight U.S. imperialism's power in East Asia 
would vanish; but the Maoist bureaucracy would be 
swept away in the same revolutionary wave. This at the 
most fundamental level is the basis for Chinese policy. 

Political Revolution 

Meanwhile, China's rotten maneuvers have helped 
drive all the other deformed workers' states (e.g., Cuba, 
N. Vietnam, and now N. Korea), except Albania, at 
best toward neutrality in siding with the USSR — at 
China's expense; for Russia possesses overwhelmingly 
greater economic preponderance while China offers 
neither trustworthy military, nor economic, nor politi- 
cal aid. (The N.Y. Times, 13 October 1965, reports that 
even the feudal Cambodian government now draws back 
from China on the valid grounds that she has done 
next to nothing to stop the incessant bombing of her 
other "ally," N. Vietnam.) Thus China is now almost 
totally isolated as she faces U.S. imperialism — a fruit 
of the Mao bureaucracy's policies of coexistence with 
"friendly" capitalist governments and cowardly sub- 
ordination of the interests of the working people to the 
special interests of the Maoist national ruling caste. It 
is no cause of joy to record that once again in the Indo- 

nesian betrayals it is proved that Mao & Go. in China, 
as Stalin and his successors in Russia, systematically 
undermine the defense of the workei's' states over which 
they rule. The defense of the Sino-Soviet bloc against 
imperialism ui-gently requires the political revolution 
by the workers in these countries against the ruling 
bureaucracy which strangles workers' democracy and 
economic growth at home and betrays revolutions 

Revolutionary Party 

In the United States groups such as Workers World 
and Progressive Labor, in their inexcusable support of 
the Sukarno regime and other capitalist governments, 
have shirked their responsibility to tell the truth to 
American wox'kers, a necessary prerequisite to building 
the revolutionary movement in this, or any, country. 
The substitution of the illusion of automatic, inevitable 
revolutionary victory through guerrilla warfare (Al- 
geria, Vietnam), or elections (Allende in Chile), or ter- 
rorism (Venezuela), or evolution of existing govern- 
ments (Goulai-t in Bi-azil, Indonesia) is characteristic 
of the anti-working class revisionism of the PKI and 
the CP's of both Russia and China. Even the peasant- 
based guerrilla war fought to a victorious conclusion has 
at best led only to a deformed workers' state barred 
from the road to socialism by its bureaucratic leader- 
ship. Serious militants and revolutionists must decisive- 
ly repudiate such methods and direct themselves- to the 
outstanding task of constructing a revolutionary party 
which can l^ad the working class to the acquisition of 
state power. 






The release of the Cuban Trotskyists after 18 months 
in jail has been publicized by Joseph Hansen in the 
Pabloist World Outlook of 25 June. Hansen sarcastically 
criticized the report in SPARTACIST #3 of the Cuban 
jailings and dismissed the view that they were part of 
a right turn. On the contrary, he attributed the release 
to "the struggle ... by the Fidelista leadership against 
bureaucratism," stating "a miscarriage of justice in 
relation to the Posadas group was rectified." 

Hansen never protested about the jailings until after 
the Cuban government seemed to take the initiative by 
releasing the prisoners. But the circumstances of their 
release are grim. The prisoners had to sign capitulatory 
pledges to win their freedom — an old device from the 
arsenal of Stalinism. According to the published letter 
by J uan Posadas of 27 April the Cuban comrades "had 
signed to dissolve the party in Cuba and withdraw from 
the Fourth International." Posadas called upon his 
Cuban followers to repudiate their pledges and resume 
political activity. ■ 


Toward Arming the Negro Struggle 

(The information on the Deacons for 
Defense and Justice contained in this 
report is based in part upon an inter- 
view between the writer and Charles 
Sims, head of the Bogalusa Deacons.) 

Armed self-defense has at last taken 
root in the civil rights movement. On 
21 February 1965, the New York Times 
reported the existence of the Deacons 
for Defense and Justice, "a mutual 
protection association, employing guns 
and shortwave radios," which was bom 
the summer before in Jonesboro, Lou- 
isiana, to protect CORE workers there. 
The organization began to patrol the 
Negro neighborhood, and the impact of 
organized, armed self-defense became 
immediately obvious. Harassment from 
the Ku Klux Klan and allied groups 
had decreased markedly since the Dea- 
cons made themselves known. 

By June the Deacons had achieved 
considerable success in several other 
southern towns. On Sunday, 6 June, 
the Times announced, "ARMED NE- 
The article continued, "The Deacons 
for Defense avd Justice . . . has crossed 
the Mississippi River to Mississippi 
and Alabama and plans to move into 
every Southern state. . . . Earnest 
Thomas of Jonesboro, La., the 32-year- 
old vice president and full-time organ- 
izer of the deacons, said yesterday that 
the organization had 50 to 55 chapters 
in various stages of organization in 
Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama." 

"Protected Non-Violence" 

The Times reporter could not hide 
the fact that the method of armed self- 
defense had proved highly successful 
in preventing violence. Local CORE 
workers, under the direction of Richard 
Haley, the Southern director of CORE, 
had begun to co-operate with the Dea- 
cons and to accept their services "when 
CORE discovered that its workers were 
safer with the Deacons around." Haley 
was forced to set down an official 
double-standard policy for CORE: 
CORE still believes in the basic prin- 
ciples of non-violence and so will not 
recruit, organize or plan for the Dea- 
cons; however, CORE appreciates the 
presence of the Deacons and is willing 
to co-operate with them and to accept 
their services — "protected von-inolence" 
is better than unprotected ! 

Tremendous Step Forward 

The Deacons organization is a tre- 
mendous step forward for the Negro 
struggle, not only because it saves 
lives, liut also because it raises the 
level of consciousness of the civil rights 
movement by encouraging independent 

by Mark Klein 

action and discouraging reliance upon 
the institutions of the bourgeois state. 
Mr. Thomas explained that the organ- 
ization was formed after the KKK 
paraded through a ghetto street under 
police escort, tossing out leaflets: "We 
decided that if the power structure 
would do that for the Klan, then we 
had better do something for ourselves." 
When the FBI tried to discourage 
Thomas' plans and suggested he join 
a bi-racial committee, he rejected their 
idea, because he distrusts such com- 
mittees. "They are to slow things 
down," he commented. 

Hence already the FBI has the Dea- 
cons under surveillance and has tried 
to discourage their growth. Recently, 
too, it was reported that HUAC, which 
is conducting an investigation of the 
KKK (under Chairman Willis, a La. 
Democrat), may also look into the Dea- 

Curious Duality 

Although the Deacons have achieved 
a new level of militancy, they are still 
far from achieving the consciousness 
needed for ultimate success. In their 
Bogalusa, La., chapter, for example, 
they exhibit a curious duality: on the 
one hand, highly militant, paramilitary 
tactics are used to protect their strug- 
gle; on the other hand, comparatively 
mild, anti-discrimination politics rely- 
ing heavily on the 1964 Civil Rights 
Act characterize their political per- 
spectives. This duality is embodied in 
Charles Sims, the president of the Bo- 
galusa chapter of the Deacons. 

Bogalusa is a Klan stronghold, and 
so almost any struggle there is bound 
to produce violent reaction. This per- 
haps explains in part why the tactics' 
there are so bold, while the politics are 
reticent. As Sims told a Life reporter 
recently, "/ don^t approve of the Dea- 
cons myself, but we have no choice." 

Against Federal Troops 

To a degree, Sims mistrusts the in- 
struments of the power structure. Some 
of the members of the local FBI, he 
knows, believe in white supremacy. Ac- 
cordingly, when the FBI tried to dis- 
courage his self-defense ideas, he re- 
plied that he would cease organizing if 
the FBI broke up the Klan; and thus 
Sims went ahead with his plans. In 
addition, Sims is against calling for 
help from U.S. ti'oops, for he believes 
that troops cannot ])usli the stiuggle 
forward — at best, they can only freeze 
the situation. 

But Sims' mistrust is parochial. With 

his eyes on the local arms of oppres- 
sion, he has not been able to see that 
those arras have their roots in an op- 
pressive monster which, in one or an- 
other form, grips the whole country. 
Thus, he regards Martin Luther King 
as a "great man," though King is 
struggling to keep the Negro movement 
disarmed and dependent. 

Politically Disarmed 

Politically speaking, Sims' localized 
view tends to disarm the struggle. To 
Sims, the main problem in Bogalusa is 
unequal job opportunities. And to Sims, 
the Fedei'al government, especially the 
Federal courts, is the answer to the 
problems of the Negro, North and 
South. This belief, of course, leaves no 
political role for the Deacons, and Sim3 
will admit this — he believes the Dea- 
cons should be for defense only, and 
not get involved in politics. Building 
another party, he thinks, is completely 
out of the question because Bogalusa 
is a Democratic town, and another 
party would be merely another split. In 
shoi't, Sims has put military power 
into the hands of the local Negro 
workers because he felt they could not 
get effective protection from the sys- 
tem; yet he still retains political faith 
in the system, and so does not seek to 


"Every Dime Buys a Bullet" 
For information about the 
Friends of the Deacons, write: 

c/o Henry Austin, 1210 Ann St. ' 
Bogalusa, La. 

\ . ^ 

put independent political power within 
their reach. 

Revolutionary Program 

The Bogalusa Negroes cannot long 
rely on the Federal government. For 
when the struggle attains a more dis- 
tinct class character, when, for in- 
stance, Negroes demand 7nore jobs as 
well as equal job opportunity, the Fed- 
eral government will be out in earnest 
to destroy the Deacons. The presence 
of Federal troops in the South must 
very soon become a moi tal danger to 
the Negio struggle. The contradiction 
in Sims' outlook — military armament, 
but j)olitical disaimament — will pre- 
cii)itatc a crisis of leadership, reveal- 
ing' the iii'^ieiiL need for revolutionary 
tlieoiy and program to achieve the so- 
cial liiuMation of the Negro people. ■ 



Spartacist says : Victory for the Viet- 
namese Revolution! No Negotiations! 
No Deals! Build the American . Revo- 


It is now popular among American 
radicals to speak of the "invincible" 
revolution in Vietnam and elsewhere, 
and to regard the imperialist cause in 
South Vietnam as already defeated. 
Such an assumption, comforting though 
it may be, is not only wrong but dan- 
gerous. The cold fact is that the U.S. 
has the military power to physically 
smash the revolution in Vietnam, and 
that to do this in • reality would not 
mean the total liquidation of the Viet- 
namese population. Only in the imag- 
inings of revolutionary romantics do 
people fight op indefinitely against 
what they perceive to be hopeless odds. 
Rather, they seek out other forms of 
struggle, or seek personal or mystic 

But will the U.S. be willing and able 
to use its military power fully? To 
prevent the genuine liberation of Viet- 
nam, that is, to prevent the social rev- 
olution in that country, tlu> U.S. will 
certainly try. U.S. jiolicy in Vietnam 
is not fortuitous, mistaken, or insane. 
It is based on the economic and social 
needs of the capitalist ruling class in 
this country. First, U.S. imperialism 
needs a base for direct operations in 
Southeast Asia. Second, by forcing a 
showdown in Vietnam, and by its ar- 
rogant provocations of Hanoi and Pe- 
king, the U.S. seeks to administer to 
China the same type of defeat it gave 
to the Soviet Union in the Cuban mis- 
sile crisis, since which time the U.S. 
has obtained the initiative and a much 
freer hand vis-a-vis the Russians. 

However, the U.S. government may 
not have to go the entire military route, 
because it has a second line of weap- 
ons: after napalm, negotiations. Ne- 
gotiations and diplomacy can also be 
imperialist weapons because of the na- 
ture of the world Stalinist movement, 
which conti'ols state power in the non- 
capitalist world and dominates the 
revolutionary movement of Vietnam. 


As a world movement, Stalinism has 
arisen from the victory of the revolu- 
tion in economically and technically 
backward countries and its defeat in 
the great industrial nations. The Oc- 
tober 1917 Revolution in Russia, the 

greatest event in modern history, re- 
sulted in the creation of the world's 
first workers' state. But eventually dif- 
ficulties multiplied and the Russian 
Revolution Ijegan to degenerate. It 
came to be dominated by an all-power- 
ful bureaucracy led by Stalin and aid- 
ed by police terror. 

Stalinism thus represents the social 
and economic interests and political 
psychology of a privileged and domin- 
ating bureaucratic caste whose con- 
tinuing material advantages and power 
prerogatives depend on an uneasy bal- 
ance. On the one hand, they must 
maintain the nationalized property 
forms on which their power is based, 
against the restorationist drives of the 
world imperialist movements. On the 
other hand, they must struggle to main- 
tain the political expropriation of the 
working-class, in whose name, but 
against whose interests, they main- 
tain their rule. In this context their 
concern with their national-caste in- 
terests leads them constantly to seek a 
modus Vivendi with world capitalism, 
agreement which would in essence safe- 
guard their national bases from impe- 
rialist attack — at the expense of the 
revolution in other areas. This long- 
standing policy, currently expressed in 
the doctrine of peaceful coexistence, 
makes of Stalinists treacherous enemies 
of the revolution within the anti-impe- 
rialist camp. 

Reluctant Liberator 

Ho Chi Minh ("liberator of his coun- 
try") and the Vietnamese leadership 
are part of this Stalinist world and 
their record is far from admirable. The 
Stalinist popular front period of the 
1930's had a peculiar effect on the co- 
lonial revolution. Instead of fighting 
Hitler by revolution, Stalin decided to 
form common fronts with liberal cap- 
italist elements, who would then sign 
worthless non-aggression pacts with 
Stalin. Naturally, so as not to annoy 
these gentlemen, the colonial struggle 
was adjourned. Ho complied. Twice 
the Ho Chi Minh leadership has open- 
ly and consciously turned power in 
Vietnam over to the imperialists in the 
higher interests of Sino-Soviet diplo- 
matic needs, without so much as con- 
sulting the Vietnamese people. First 
at the end of World War II for the 
sake of the Potsdam agreements and 
big-power amity they allowed the Chi- 
nese and British and later the French 
to reoccupy the country (all under the 

aegis of the great Stalin, still a hero 
— in Peking at least). 

Geneva Sell-Out 
With the development of the cold 
war, they ceased to block the revolu- 
tionary drive of the Vietnamese peo- 
ple, and launched a successful war of 
national liberation. However, once 
again the diplomatic interests of the 
Stalinist giants came first, and at the 
Geneva conference in 1954 the south- 
ern half of the country was returned 
to imperialism and the revolution dis- 
armed. The Geneva sell-out, remember, 
was also signed by the Maoists, who 
pretend to very revolutionary and Len- 
inist. If it be suggested that they real- 
ly believed that elections would be held 
to enable them to take power legally, 
it can only be answered that such 
criminal naivete is inconceivable from 
such experienced politicals. Ho Chi 
Minh has certainly been a somewhat 
reluctant liberator. 

y~. \ 

The Committee to Aid the National 
Liberation Front of South Vietnam 
asks YOU to aid the NLF. Send your 
contribution by International Money 
Order or Registered Mail to: the NLF 
of SV, Mission, Nekazanka 7, Prague, 

For more information al^out the work 
of the Committee, inquire directly c/o 
W. Tealgue, 103 Macdougal St., N. Y., 
N. Y. 10012 (Tel: YU 2-7162) 

Ho's group and their political train- 
ees, to face a few facts, now control 
the FLN. A few years ago there was 
added to this group a shadow nation- 
alist element to make things look 
broader and more "progressive." These 
bourgeois nationalist elements have no 
social base of any consequence, and 
serve only as an ersatz "bloc of four 
classes." The Vietnamese Stalinists 
have won the support of the vast ma- 
jority of the peasantry, and that plus 
their foreign connections make, them 
the bosses of the show. Given their 
record, the American hope for nego- 
tiating another sell-out is by no means 

What Can We Do to Aid the 
Vietnamese Revolution? 

The imperialist war drive is inher- 
ent in the capitalist economic system 
itself. Therefore, imperialism will end 
only when capitalism ends. Imperial- 


ism is not just a policy which capital- 
ism could stop, as Kautsky maintained 
against Lenin, and which many believe 
even today. Several current non-revo- 
lutionary approaches require comment. 

Negotiations? No friend of the Viet- 
namese people wants to see hard- 
won gains bartered away at the con- 
ference table. Negotiations are desired 
by the liberal wing of imperialism, in- 
cluding such worthies as Walter Lipp- 
mann and Senator Gruening, who hate 
the revolution like poison. These peo- 
ple want continued control of South- 
east Asia by American' capital just as 
much as Johnson. They disagree only 
about means, preferring fraudulent ne- 
gotiations to Johnson's brutal war. 
Grueijing, the noted liberal, was all in 
favor of senfling troops to the Domin- 
ican Republic, you j'cmember. The de- 
mand foi' negotiations thus becomes an 
imiierialist weapon against the Viet- 
namese Rfvolution, in tb.e quite real- 
istic hope that the ''Stalinists in both 
Peking and Moscow can be brought 
once again to sacrifice someone else's 
revolution to the national-bureaucratic 
interests of their respective countries, 
as they flid at Geneva. For alleged so- 
cialists to echo this bourgeois demand 
is a betrayal and piece of great-power 
arrogance of th'- worst sort. On the 
contrar.N', friends of the Vietnamese 
Revolution must do all in their power 
toi chock imperialism, expose its "nego- 
tiations"' slouan, and help strengthen 
genuinely revolutionary elements in 
Vietnam in their inevitable struggle 
with the Stalinist leadership. 

UN? Some say the UN should step 
in. But the UN is controlled by the 
capitalists. If the UN stepped in, they 
would restore tl.e country to the im- 
peiialists, as they did in the Congo, 
after settinu- up the murder of Lumum- 
ba by Tsh.mibc. 

Cortlitio}! ? Some say the UN should 
instnll a coalitimi government. This 
would only ho one nioi-e attempt to 
stop the revolution. Coalition govern- 
ments are iinL-t;ilile because they have 
no real sii)ipoit Uom the bitterly con- 
tending and niuiuallv incompatible 

Towards ,i Labor Party 

An alteniaiix e to I )onioci atic bond- 
age is a Lal.'oi I'ai-ty, bi-oadly based, 
with ir,r':r I)" tlif unions and 

gl^ettos, cMijilri}'. li :iii(l unemployed, 
from, v.n .^'fai • lif th.; l.-.ho.fing popula- 
tion. It mu: t li ■ o^H'ti to all working- 
class piiiiti. .:! -•:-i!ciicics. It woubl be 
the iKilitirnl li.-irly tlirf>nuh Avhich work- 
ing J .(•.•!)!.• f..Mhl fbiaily fight in their 
ov. II int •?•. . I ■•. :■ a party does not 
exist \ I il ii will he a long and 
dirii. 1 li ' ' rr 'r lo l.uild i,no. Novcr- 
thcl - , V,. 1 , \( :, l,;.<is fioni which to 
stait ; tlic ; ivl;is movement, and 

the anti-'.\ar iiin\fiiKnt. The possibility 



The Progressive Labor Party has 
launched an all-out anti-Trotskyist at- 
atck upon Spartacist in their State- 
ment on the Peace Movement (Chal- 
lenge, 2 November, page 7). The PLP 
Statement used our Imperialists and 
Stalinists in Vietnam (reprinted in 
this issue of spartacist) as the spring- 
board for the attack. This attack left 
us at once regretful, pleased and per- 

We regret the Stalinist content of 
PL's accusations — what Trotsky once 
called the syphilis of the working 
class. There are too few seeking to build 
^ revolutionary movement in America 
today for us to want PL's potential 
eaten away and destroyed. We are 
pleased because, if elements in PL were 
going to strike out at Trotskyism, they 
flingled out the Spartacist as the most 
characteristic group in the U.S. bear- 
ing the revolutionary Marxist ideas 
associated with the name of Leon Tx'ot- 
sky. We were perplexed, however, as 
to whj/ this attack was made at this 
time, when the open activities of our 
two organizations hardly impinge upon 
each other — mainly as a result of the 
overriding effort by PL to isolate it- 
self and its work from Trotskyists. In 
the past year, for example, Spartacist 
supporters have been expelled or ex- 
cluded from the Harlem Defense Coun- 

of union support is more remote, since 
most unions are caught in the strangle- 
hold of a conservative bureaucracy. 
Rather than give up on the rank-and- 
file of such unions, however, we must 
help them to organize militant oppo- 
sition within the unions themselves. 

The dangers threatening the Viet- 
namese revolution are indeed over- 
whelming. Externally there is U.S. ag- 
gression and internally there is the 
treacherous Stalinist leadership. Actu- 
ally the internal factor, Stalinist lead- 
ership, depends indirectly on the ex- 
istence of imperialism. For if there 
were successful revolutions in the im- 
peiialist countries, the Stalinist bu- 
reaucracies in the backward countries 
would soon be replaced. Thus, a social- 
ist revolution in the U.S. would liber- 
ate not only the U.S. but also end the 
role of both imperialists and Stalinists 
in Vietnam. 


(reprinted from DID YOU VOTE 
FOR WAR?, a publication of the 
Buy Area Vietnam Committee) 


cil, the CCNY May 2nd Movement, and 
the work of the defense organization, 
CERGE, all on the grounds of "coun- 
ter-revolutionary Trotskyism." 

Three Little Dots 
We would welcome a frank and fra- 
ternal confrontation of views with PL 
on the urgent tasks facing communists, 
while working together where we 
agree on particular issues. But it is im- 
possible to consider the PLP Statement 
as a serious criticism of Spartacist. 
Typically, the authors of the Statement 
create a position which we neither 
stated not hold : . . these Trotskyites, 
in a final display of supreme arrogance 
only outdone by their stupidity, tell 
oppressed, people to vmit. . . ." This is 
a plain lie. The authors create another 
"Spartacist" viewpoint by joining to- 
gether two (inaccurate) quotations by 
three dots: some 1200 words were 
skipped over with these three little 
Stalinist dots! With this method any- 
thing can be "proved" about anyone. 
No, the reasons behind PL's attack are 
not to be found in their words. 

Why Us? 
PL's own internal situation indicates 
the real reason behind the Statement 
in Challenge. Controlling sections in 
PL appear to be playing a "game" with 
members who differ with the prevailing 

We know there are people in PL who 
believe, as we do, that opposition to a 
negotiated peace today w Vietnam im- 
plies that the 1954 Geneva agreement 
was a betrayal by the Sino-Soviet 
leaderships, who were then united. We 
know there are PL members who think 
that PL should not have given in to 
SANE and the liberals over the N.Y. 
Peace Parade, but instead marched as 
we did with militant slogans of sup- 
port to the NLF struggle. 

Sectarian Abstentionism 

We know there are PL members who 
gave critical support, as we did, to the 
Socialist Workers Party's mayoralty 
candidates despite PL's sectarian ab- 
stentionism; who believe that it was 
correct to call upon the anti-war move- 
ment to give electoral support to all 
anti-war working-class or socialist 
candidates like Epton, Jose Fuentes, 
and the SWP tickets, and only to such 
anti-capitalist candidates; who were 
disgusted when PL stopped the work of 
Spartacist suiijioi'ters for the PLP 
candidate. Rill Epton. on the "prin- 
cipled" grounds of refusing aid from 

(Continued on Page 15) 



1879-1921; THE PROPHET UN- 
ARMED, Trotsky: 1921-1929; THE 
1929-1940, Oxford University Press, 
1954, 1959, 1963. Also in a paperback 
edition — Vintage Books, New York, 
1965, $2.45 per volume. 

Isaac Deutscher's three-volume biog- 
raphy of Leon Trotskyi commands en- 
thusiasm. The biographer of Trotsky 
confronts a staggering task. Trotsky 
was not only one of the decisive politi- 
cal personalities of our time, a "world- 
historical individual" in the fullest 
sense. He was a complex and colorful 
human being whose whole life was 
bound up with great events; a writer 
of unequalled brilliance; a profound 
thinker whose vision, having impressed 
itself indelibly upon reality, continues 
to exeit an indispensable formative 
influence upon any serious conception 
of our social universe; a revolutionary 
leader identified with a party and doc- 
trine. Beyond all that, his career has, 
not least in his martyrdom and diaboli- 
fication, the import of a deeply mean- 
ingful modern myth. To create a living 
picture of Trotsky in all these dimen- 
sions seems a superhuman achieve- 
ment: yet exactly this is what Deut- 
scher has attempted and, to a remark- 
able degree, accomplished. 

Enduring Biography 

In technique, Deutscher is superb. 
He has mastered a vast primary doc- 
umentation, both personal and politi- 
cal, and used it to produce a scrupu- 
lously accurate account. His style, like- 
wise, is out of the ordinary: vivid, in- 
cisive, fast-moving, often colorful, 
sometimes lising to heiylits of elo- 
quence, and always clear. Kven tedious 
ideological v;ran<'les and petty organ- 
izational squabbles somehow acquire 
leal interest through their skillful ab- 
sorption into the narrative flow, since 
Deutscher never for a moment lets slip 
from view the historical panorama 
within which the entire action unfolds, 
the monumental stakes at issue. Time 
and again he comes up with the mem- 
orable line or sentence that e;)itomizes 
a whole complex chain of thought. To 
cite only one instance :• after posing 
the question of ivhy in 1940, after the 
extermination of all opposition within 
the Soviet Union and the decimation 
of the few Trotskyist cadres outside 
it, Stalin finally decided that he could 
no longei- toleiate Trotsky's i)hysical 
existence, Deutscher answeis, "All the 
prospects that were so leal to Ti'otsky 
in his hopes were equally real to Stalin 
in his fears; and Trotsky alive was 

their supreme and never-resting 
agent. "2 

These merits would themselves be 
enough to make Deutscher's trilogy an 
enduring biographical classic. Its im- 
portance, however, transcends even 
this. Just as the Russian revolution 
remains in a real sense still unfinished, 
still a dynamic force in the world, so 
Tiotsky's life and thought remain in- 
tensely problematic. To ask what is 
the balance of success and failui-e in 
that revolutionary life is also to ask 
the balance of validity and invalidity 
in the revolutionary philosophy given 
its definitive contemporary form in 
that thought. For the socialist, the 
spiritual child of the Russian revolu- 
tion, this means to meditate on the 
very meaning of our epoch. These prob- 
lems arise ineluctably from Trotsky's 
life itself, and the response to them 
necessarily shapes the biographer's 
whole work. 

Classical Tragedy 

Deutscher fiist presents his central 
thesis through a striking thematic an- 
alogy: Trotsky's life is to be viewed 
as a "truly classical tragedy ... or 
rather a reproduction of classical trag- 
edy in secular terms of modern poli- 

"Much as I have been concerned with 
the lestoration of the various fea- 
tures and details of the historical 
drama, I have never been able to 
disiriiss from my thoughts the tragic 
theme that runs through it from be- 
ginning to end and affects nearly 
all the characters involved. Here 
is modern tragedy in the sense in 
which Trotsky himself has defined 
it: 'As long as man is not yet master 
of his social organization, that or- 
uanization towers above him like 
Fate ib-elf. . . . The tiagedy of re- 
stricted i)ersonal passion is too flat 
for our time — we live in an epoch of 
social passion. The sturt" of contem- 
porary tragedy is found in the clash 
between the individual and a collec- 
tiye, or between hostile collectives 
represented by individuals' . . . what 
modern Sophocles or Aeschylus could 
possibly produce tragedy as high as 
Trotsky's own life? Is it too much 
to hope that this is nevertheless an 
'optimistic tragedy,' one in which not 
all the suffeiing and sacrifice have 
been i:i vain?"^ 

The archetypal tragic structure that 
Deutscher lightly sees in the life of 
Trotsky is the inexorable tlialectic man- 
ifested in the classic figuies of Oedipus 
and Orcst/s: a) I'Jxilr in preparation 
for return and b) l/ihcmi ittg llvniic 
Acliieociiient which, however, both 

Review Article! 

through its own ambivalence and the 
limitedness (one-sidodness, deficient 
consciousness) of the hero himself 
leads to his "downfall" and c) Renewed 
Exile but transfigured by a heightened, 
enriched understanding with ultimate- 
ly redemptive significance. 

The crux of this sequence is the 
"downfall" phase. Here the skeins of 
blind necessity and individual respon- 
sibility appear as inextricably inter- 
twined: 1VC have to unravel them if 
we are to assimilate the full content of 

Trotskv in 1940 

the tra;.vody. "The question which is of 
alisoihinv; interest," to us as well as to 
the hiojiiaphei', is "To what extent did 
Tiolsky eontriliute to his own defeat? 
To what extent, was he himself com- 
pelled by critical circumstances and 
liy his own character to pave the way 
for Stalin?"? 

Deutscher's Thesis 

Deutscher never gives a direct an- 
swer to these questions, but a general 
response does emerge from his pages: 
That given the failure of the Euro- 
pean workers' revolutions of 1919-1923 
the Soviet Republic, isolated, exhaust- 
ed, and teriihly backward, was ines- 
capably dp:;tined to bureaucratic degen- 
eratioj'. (liven this bureaucratic degen- 
eration, the Revolution could survive 
only thiouuh .the Stalinist industriali- 
■/ati(jn (lri\'e. with all its wastes and 
horrors. This piocess ha.l the foice of 
historical inevitability. R.ecause Trotsky 
as an in(livi(lu;d had no power to pi'e- 



Y Shane Mage 

vent it he can be said to have contrib- 
uted to it only insofar as, "compelled 
, by critical circumstances," he shared 
responsibility for the initial stages of 
bureaucratization in the years 1919- 
1922. Trotsky's role as leader and sym- 
bol of the Communist opposition to 
Stalinism was supremely justified: on 
him depended the preservation of the 
Revolution's moral honor. But this was 
work destined for future generations. 
Trotsky was "the representative figure 
of pre-Stalinist communism and the 
precursor of post-Stalinist commun- 
ism."'' As a contestant for power in 
the era of "Stalinist communism" he 
was foredoomed to failure and his 
eflForts to build a Fourth International 
were a fiasco. Nevertheless, already to- 
day the "all too modest" tentative liqui- 
dation of "the Stalinist perversion of 
socialism . . . vindicates the revolution 
and his basic optimism about it, and 
lifts the dense fog of disillusionment 
and despair."7 

The thesis summarized above is a 
complex one, and in no way implausible 
or inconsistent with the Marxian phil- 
osophy of history. It is even an "ortho- 
dox" one, inasmuch as it agrees in es- 
sentials with Trotsky's own retrospec- 
tive explanation of his defeat. Never- 
theless, in my view, its truth is at best 
one-sided and conceals as its falsehood 
that fatalistic outlook which must pro- 
duce confusion in the writing of history 
and fatal eiror in the acting of it. 
Historical Inevitability? 

"Historical inevitability" is a much 
misused and misunderstood phrase. In 
our (and Deutscher's) context, how- 
ever, its meaning is quite clear: the 
victory of Stalinism that actually took 
place can appear as inevitable if and 
only if we are convinced that no reason- 
able course of action present as a real 
possibility to Trotsky but rejected by 
him would have resulted in a prefer^- 
able alternative. 

Did such opportunities ever exist? It 
is important to note that on Deutscher's 
own showing thei'e were, during an 
entire decade, repeated instances when 
it was, sometimes aiguably, sometimes 
manifestly, within the power of Trot- 
sky and the Left Opposition to bring 
about the downfall of Stalin. 

12th Party Congress 

The first of these critical occasions 
came at the 12th (Congress of the Soviet 
Conimutiist Party i-n April \\r2:',. The 
conflict between Ti'otsky and the "troi- 
ka" (Stalin, Zinoviev, Kainenev) ovei- 
bui'eaucratization of the Party ap|)ar- 

atus, economic planning, and policy 
toward the non-Russian nationalities 
had been simmering for almost a year. 
At the close of 1922 Lenin from his 
sickbed told Trotsky of his solidarity 
cn all these issues and proposed a 
"bloc against Stalin." Outraged by 
Stalin's "brutal" behavior in regard 
to the Georgian Communists, Lenin 
resolved "to crush Stalin politically" 
by denouncing him openly before the 
Congress and demanding his removal 
as General-Secretary. When Lenin was 
prevented by illness from appearing at 
the C'on<iress he sent his prepared text 
to Trotsky and lequested him to pre- 
sent it. "Moreover, in a last moment 
of an exhausting tension of mind and 
will he urged Trotsky to show no weak- 
ness or vacillation, to trust no 'rotten 
compromise' Stalin might propose, and, 
last but not least, to give Stalin and 
his associates no warning of the at- 
tack. "» But Trotsky violated Lenin's 
request on every point. He made a 
"rotten compromise" with Stalin, a- 
gi'eed to the suppression of Lenin's 
"Notes on the Nationalities Question," 
and confined his intervention at the 
Congress to questions of economic pol- 
icy. As Deutscher sums it up: 

"He missed the opportunity of con- 
founding the triumvirs and discred- 
iting Stalin. He let down his allies. 
He failed to act as Lenin's mouth- 
piece with the resolution Lenin had 
expected of him. He failed to support 
before the entire party the Georg- 
ians and the Ukranians for whom he 
had stood up in the Politbureau. He 
kept silent when tlie cry for inner- 
party democracy rose from the floor. 
He expounded economic ideas the 
historic portent of which escaped his 
audience but which his adversaries 
could easily twist so as to impress 
piesently upon workers, peasapts, 
and bureaucrats alike that Trotsky 
was not their well-wisher. . . . Fi- 
nally, Trotsky directly strengthened 
the triumvirs when he declared his 
'unshaken' solidarity with the Polit- 
bureau and the Central Committee 
and called the rank and file to exer- 
cise 'at this critical juncture' the 
strictest self-restraint and the ut- 
most vigilance."" 

The description is brilliant, but when 
it comco to tlie crucial question n-hi^ 
T-otsky stumliled into this "\n< 'dibly 
foolish," "awlcward and prejiosterous" 
behavior, Deutscher's exf)lanation is to- 
tally unsatisfactory: "The truth [!] is 
that Trotsky rcfiaiiie.i from attacking 
Stalin because be felt sc.uie. ... It 
seemed alniust a bad jol:e that Stalin, 
the wilful and sly but shabby and in- 

articulate man in the background, 
should be his rival. "10 But this is liter- 
ally no explanation, since for most of 
the previous year Stalin had acted as 
Trotsky's main antagonist within the 
Politbureau and it was already clear 
to the mortally ill Lenin that Stalin as 
General-Secretary had "concentrated 
immeasurable power in his hands." If 
Trotsky, despite Lenin's pleas, remai- 
ned blind to these facts, that itself 
would call for explanation. 

Circumscribed Struggle 

There is, however, a real political 
explanation for Trotsky's catastrophic 
error: he was desperately anxious to 
avoid an open clash within the leader- 
ship of the Communist party (and, a 
fortiori, totally unwilling to take any 
action which might risk organizational 
exclusion from the party). Trotsky's 
conduct in early 1923 was not an epi- 
sodic blunder, a mere momentary lapse: 
on the contrary it expressed an orien- 
tation which was to dominate, and par- 
alyze, Trotsky's political activity up 
to the formation of the "United Oppo- 
sition" in 192G, and was not to be fully 
abandoned until the mid-1930's. 

The record of the years 1923-1926 
leaves no doubt how profoundly Trot- 
sky was politically crippled by this 
orientation. In the fall of 1923 the 
open struggle of the Left Opposition 
was begun with a declaration by 46 
Old Bolsheviks, not including Trotsky, 
demanding restoation of inner-party 
democracy and accelerated industriali- 
zation of the Soviet Union. Although 
the Opposition was immediately iden- 
tified (and regarded itself) as "Trot- 
skyist," himself, the most 
gifted and eff'ective orator of the party, 
played a very limited and merely lit- 
erary role in the struggle preceding 
the crushing of the opposition at the 
13th Party Conference in January 
1924. Why? In his autobiography Trot- 
sky asciibes his inaction to illness — 
on a duck-hunting expedition he had 
contracted influenza followed by a 
"cryptogenic temperature"" which his 
doctors could not explain but which 
kept him al semi-invalid for the better 
part of a year. 

On this vital fact Deutscher's anal- 
ysis goes not an inch beyond Trotsky's 
own : 

"It is curious to note how such ac- 
cident.s — first Lenin's illness and 
then his own — contributed to the 
trend of events which was more sol- 
idly determined by the basic factors 
of the situation. 'One can foresee a 
levolution or a war,' Trotsky re- 
niaiks in .1/// Life, 'but it is impos- 
(Continued Next Page) 

10 — 


. . . TROTSKY 

sible to foresee the consequences of 
an autumn shooting trip for wild 
ducks.' It was certainy no mean dis- 
advantage to Trotsky that at this 
crucial stage the use of his live voice 
and direct appeal to an audience was 
denied him."i2 

An "accident," though? One need not 
dwell on Trotsky's term "cryptogenic" 
(which Deutscher for some reason 
transmutes into "malaria"). The im- 
portant thing to note is that the "shoot- 
ing trip" took place in late October, 
very shortly after the statement of 
the "46." It was certainly a time when 
one might reasonably expect Trotsky's 
full time and energies to have been 
taken up by the factional struggle. Is 
it an "accident" that this was not the 

Correct Tactics? 

In any event there was nothing ac- 
cidental about the Opposition's decision 
in 1924 to stop open party activity as 
an organized group (nor about the 
effects of this decision on the groups 
of the Opposition: in Deutscher's 
words, "they shrank and fell apart.") 
Add in Trotsky's "disciplined" willing- 
ness to repudiate Opposition support- 
ers abroad (of which his notorious dis- 
avowal of Eastman's publication of 
Lenin's testament was only one in- 
stance) and the lefusal of the Trotsky- 
ists to give thte slightest help to the 
1925 Zinovievist opposition (at a con- 
juncture where, as Deutscher makes 
clear, a strong intervention by Trotsky 
would at the very least have put Stalin 
in deep trouble) : the picture adds up 
not to a series of errors but to a ruin- 
ous policy. 

Deutscher discloses this picture full- 
ly enough, but on each occasion he 
repeats his failure to suggest a fully 
satisfactory explanation. The net ef- 
fect is to present each fact in isolation 
and thus to minimize the scope and 
consequences of Trotsky's orientation. 
This is not because Deutscher is tin- 
able to explain Trotsky's conduct. On 
the contrary, it is because his own 
analysis, in the context of his basic 
thesis, suggests a conclusion which 
contradicts his own i)rofound insight 
into the tragic nature of the historic 
drama: were Trotsky'a ituier-party tac- 
tics from 19^3 to 1926 eftscnfialli) cor- 
rect after all? 

Deutsche)' advances two main prop- 
ositions tending toward this unwanted 
conclusion: (1) The inherently anti- 
democratic nature of a socialist regime 
in the Russia of the 1920's; (2) The 
presence of overwhelming historical 
forces leading to the specifically Stalin- 

The first starts from the nature of 
post-Civil War Russian society. The 

old aristocracy and bourgeoisie had 
been driven into exile; the revolution- 
ary proletariat of 1917 had provided 
many of the cadres of the Bolshevik 
regime, but otherwise, no longer ex- 
isted. The only viable social class 
was the peasantry, instinctively anti- 
socialist but in itself politically im- 
potent, "a huge sack of potatoes." 
The Bolshevik party, compelled by his- 
tory to "substitute itself for the pro- 
letariat," could not withstand open 
democratic political competition in the 
reactionary Russian milieu, and could 
survive only by outlawing all opposi- 
tional parties. 

Deutscher's Fatalism 

This analysis is incontcstaiily accu- 
I ale. Deutscher, hovvtvcr, goc; on from 
it to deduce an e iual logical necessity 
for the suppression of factions within 
the Bolshevik pai'v itself— that fateful 
measure, pioposeO by Lenin and en- 
dorsed by Tiotsky, which ultimately 
provided Stalin wilh the( indispensable 
weapon to suppress all dissent from his 
totalitarian rule: 

"Destroying the multiparty system 
the Bolsheviks had no inkling of the 
cori.^equences to thrmsclves. They 
imagined that outsif'e that system 
they would still remain what they 
had alwa\s been: a disciplined but 
free association of militant Marxists. 
. . . The single-party system was a 
contjadiction in terms: ih^ single 
party itself could not reman: a party 
in the accepted sense. Its inner life 
was boun4 to shrink and wither. Of 


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'(l('iTif)cratic centralism,' the master 
principle of Holshev;i; organisation, 
only centralism survived. . , . No 
body politic can be nine-tenths mute 
and one-tenth vocal. Having imposed 
silence on non-Bolshevik Russia, 
Lenin's party had in the end to im- 
pose silence on itself as well."'* 
This lengthy quotation is an excel- 
lent example of Deutscher's central 
error: the fatalistic view that runs 
like a thiead through the whole fabric 
of his iiitci-i)rctati()n. ile here substi- 
tutes a logiial necessity, exprcsse(; in 
the formula "no body politic can he 
nine-tenths mute ami nne-tf'nth vocal," 
for the historic choice fruly made' by 

Lenin and Trotsky. But he fails to see 
that this argument is internally con- 
tradictory. In defending the establish- 
ment of one-party rule, Deutscher 
bases his case precisely on the fact 
that Russia had ceased to exist as a 
"body politic." The Bolshevik party, de- 
spite its growing deficiencies, remained 
a coherent political force with a clearly 
socialist history, ideology, and mem- 
bership. The pressure of the peasant 
milieu made itself felt within the 
Party, but in exactly the opposite way 
from that feared by Lenin in 1921. 
The weight of the peasantry was ex- 
erted, not through an openly petit- 
bourgeois restorationist faction, but 
through the very faction that crushed 
party democracy under the pretext "no 
factions." The Opposition was there- 
fore logically as well as politically jus- 
tified in demanding (though all too 
hesitantly and belatedly) elimination 
of the ban on factions. By their fears 
of disunity in the face of the hostile 
peasantry the Bolsheviks were led to 
fight the wrong danger with the wrong 

"Primitive Socialist Accumulation" 

The really crucial point in Deut- 
scher's thesis, however, is his view of 
the ))ositive historical forces leading 
to Stalinism. This? is first and most 
clearly stated in his discussion of the 
Trotsky-Preobrazhensky "Law of Prim- 
itive Socialist Accumulation." The 
"Law" holds, in essence, that a work- 
ers' state in a relatively backward 
countiy can survive the economic pres- 
sures of the capitalist world market 
and of domestic capitalist-type and 
peasant economy only by achieving and 
maintaining a rate of economic growth 
substantially above the capitalist norm; 
that the resources for such industrial- 
ization must come principally from the 
peasantiy but also from restraints on 
industrial wage increases, and in quan- 
tities objectively dictated by the re- 
quired growth rate; and that in the 
specific circumstances of the Soviet 
post-war economy these quantities 
would have to be relatively very large. 

Deutscher quite rightly acrcpt.-^ the 
validity of the law, hut hy coupling it 
with the su|)posedly inevitable huroauc- 
ratization of the levolution and the 
(genuine) deep identification of the 
Bolshevik bureaucracy with the na- 
tionalized sector of the Soviet economy 
he comes up with a startling corollary: 
"It was Trotsky's peculiar fate that 
even while he declared war on the 
political pretensions and the arro- 
gance of the bureaucracy, he had to 
try and awaken it to its 'historic 
mission.' His advocacy of |)riniitive 
socialist accumulation aimed at this. 
Yet s\ich accumulation, in the cii-- 
cunistanccs under whicli it v\'as to 
take place, could hardly be reconciled 



with the workers' democracy. . . • 
The two aspects of the program 
which Trotsky expounded in 1923 
were to prove incompatible in the 
near future; and therein lay the 
fundamental weakness of his posi- 
tion. The bureaucracy raged furious- 
ly against one part of his program, 
the one which claimed a workers' 
democracy; but after much resist- 
ance, hesitation and delay, it was to 
carry out the other part which spoke 
of primitive socialist accumula- 
tion."! 4 

Economics of Workers' Democracy 

This proposition is, I believe, grave- 
ly erroneous. The entire economic pro- 
gram of the Opposition was aimed at a 
demonstration, not that rapid indus- 
trialization was desirable (no Bolshe- 
vik leader could or would deny that 
truism) but that industrialization was 
economically feasible w. the context 
of workers' democracy. Deutscher does 
not even attempt to refute the Opposi- 
tion thesis by economic arguments. All 
he can do in the end is appeal to the 
mere facts against the potentialities: 
"The Stalinist bureaucracy was 
about to put into effect Trotsky's 
program of primitive socialist ac- 
cumulation. Trotsky was the authen- 
tic inspirer and prompter of the sec- 
ond revolution of which Stalin was 
to be the practical manager in the 
coming decade. It would be futile to 
speculate how Trotsky might have 
directed that revolution, whether he 
would have succeeded in carrying out 
Russia's industrialization at a com- 
parable pace and scale without con- 
demning the mass of the Soviet peo- 
ple to the privation, misery, and 
oppression they suffered under Stal- 
in, or whether he would have been 
able to bring the muzhik by persua- 
sion to collective farming rather 
than to coerce him into it. These 
questions cannot be answered; and 
the historian has more than enough 
work in analysing events and situa- 
tions as they were, without trying 
to ponder events and situations that 
might have been. As things were, 
the political evolution of the 1920's 
predetermined the manner in which 
Russia's social transformation was 
to be accomplished in the 1930's."iS 
It should be noted that the last sen- 
tence cited, if taken seriously, would 
reduce Deutscher's argument to impo- 
tent circularity, for how can the politi- 
cal evolution of the 1920's be explained 
by a subsequent fact which itself is 
"predetermined" by the evolution to 
be explained? Even without that sen- 
tence, however, this appeal is self- 
defeating, since it is precisely the po- 
tentialities of the "situation as it was" 
that are at issue in regard to the sup- 
posed incompatibility between indus- 

trialization and workers' democracy. 

This very citation, nevertheless, 
points up where Deutscher has gone 
wrong. By asking the wrong- question, 
whether Trotsky would have been able 
to carry through industrialization at 
Stalin's "pace and scale" without to- 
talitarianism, the validity of that "pace 
and scale" is implicitly asserted. But 
this is altogether indefensible. Deut- 
scher does not contradict Trotsky's 
characterization of Stalin's 1929-1933 
policies as catastrophic ultra-leftist 
adventurism, nor can he, since the his- 
torical facts speedily and conclusively 
vindicated Trotsky's position. The rap- 
id gTowth of heavy industry achieved 
under Stalin's aegis was paid for by 
, a vast destruction of producttDc forces 
in the agricultural sectoi-, saddling the 
Soviet Union with a permanent agri- 
cultural crisis; a long stagnation in 
consumer-goods production; and impo- 
sition of a hopelessly wasteful and in- 
efficient planning system over the 
whole economy (and all this without 
even mentioning such "non-economic" 
aspects of the Stalinist monstrosity as 
the Comintern policies which enabled 
Hitler to take power ! ) The conclusion 
in the field of economics is beyond dis- 
pute: if the growth of heavy industry 
had been restrained to a level that did 
not disrupt the other sectors the So- 
viet economy would have emerged in a 
far healthier condition. 

But was such an expansion path po- 
litically feasible? By 1928 the Left 
Opposition had been defeated and ex- 
iled, and Stalin's "second revolution" 
seemed to leave it only the choice be- 
tween capitulating to Stalin in order 
to help the Soviet Union survive the 
desperate crisis into which Stalin had 
plunged it, or opposing Stalin in the 
name of the principles and ideals of 
socialism, but without hope of imme- 
diate effect. With the exception of 
Trotsky, all the major leaders of the 
Opposition ultimately capitulated to 

Bloc With Bukharin? 

In 1928 and even 1929 the Opposition 
had, however, a third alternative: a 
bloc with the "Right Opposition" led 
by Bukharin. This idea was first pro- 
posed by Bukhai 'in in the summer of 
1928, well before his break with Stalin 
came into, the open. It was viewed fa- 
vorably by Trotsky, provided that this 
was solely "for one purpose, namely, 
the restoration of inner-party democ- 
racy."i6 But these overtures led no- 
where, since both factions still saw 
each other as the main enemy. 

Deutscher correctly, though incon- 
sistently, sees in this a major, virtu- 
ally fatal, error. He ascribes it partly 
to the preoccupation of all the Russian 
Communists with the misunderstood 
and misleading precedent of the "Ther- 

midorian Reaction" in the Great 
French Revolution (his critique of this 
analogy is brilliant and decisive. Cf. 
particularly The Prophet Outcast, pp. 
314-318) but also to the "Marxist tra- 
tlition which approved alliances be- 
tween left and center against the right, 
but considerecl any combination of left 
and right directed against the center 
as unprincipled and inadmissible."i7 

It is unfortunate that Deutscher does 
not also carry through the critique of 
this "tradition," beyond the statement 
that "subsequent events were to tran- 
scend" its logic. But the "logic" itself 
was faulty: the episodic, contingent 
political designations "left," "right," 
and "center," which should be neutral 
and have no emotional weighting at all 
(at least n-ithin the revolutionary spec- 
trum) somehow became metaphysical 
essences showing the true nature of 
each faction. Thus the ivay in which 
the schema was transcended was mis- 
understood by the Trotskyists: they 
continued to regard the Stalin faction 
as, the "center" even after it adopted 
adventurist policies that placed it at 
the eo;freme (or, if you wish, "ultra") 
left of the Soviet Communist Party 
and the C/omniunist International, de- 
stroying the previous relationship of 
the mid-1920's, when Trotsky and Buk- 
harin had symbolized opposite poles. 
Bukharin recognized this change when 
he told Kamenev, "Our disagreements 
with Stalin are far, far graver than 
those we have had with you."'« Trot- 
sky, however, and still more the rest 
of the Trotskyist Opposition, continued 
to view the Bukharinist right as "the 
chief antagonist." 

Trotsky's Error 
From this discussion one major con- 
clusion can be drawn: when Deutscher 
speaks in terms of the "historic mis- 
sion" of the Stalinist bureaucracy 
he in essence transposes into historical 
language the major political error of 
the Trotskyist Opposition: the fatal- 
istic sense of impotence against over- 
whelming social forces that caused its 
fatal inability to recognize that Stalin 
was the main enemy. This should not 
be taken to indicate even infinitesimal 
acceptance of the reactionary view that 
any alternative to Stalin would have 
been preferable: the point is that on 
real, though quite limited, program- 
matic issues there had developed a 
consensus between the "Left" and 
"Right" Bolshevik oppositions at that 
time. Deutscher's paradox is that he 
is too fine a historian not to recognize 
the Trotskyists' errqr (when, for in- 
stance, he speaks of the failure of 
efforts from within the Stalin faction 
itself to remove Stalin in 1932 as 
caused by fear of the consequences of 
overthrowing Stalin, "the fear that 
(Concluded Bottom Next Page) 



Algerian Coup- 

A Crushing Blow to Revisionists' Theory 

The recent military coup d'etat in 
Algiers contains most important les- 
sons for Marxists. Colonel Boumed- 
ienne's army, which deposed President 
Ben Bella, is the instrument of "order" 
on behalf of the native capitalist class 
in Algeria. 

A national-revolutionary struggle, in- 
volving years of large-scale conflict, 
was necessary before these native capi- 
talists could take hold of state power. 
As in all national revolutions, the 
bourgeoisie had a double problem: to 
establish their own power by shaking 
off the foreign imperialist domination; 
and to push back the forces of the 
workers and peasants whom they had 
to mobilize for the first aim. 

So great is their fear of the popular 

[CLIFF SLAUGHTER examines reac- 
tions to the coup in "The Militant," or- 
gan of the Socialist Workers Party, 
and "World Outlook," of the 'United 
Secretariat' of revisionists in Paris.] 

forces of the workers and peasants, 
and so impossible their development as 
an "independent" capitalism in the 
modern world of monopoly capitalism, 
that these bourgeois-nationalist gov- 
ernments do not even carry out the 
elementary tasks of the national strug- 
gle for the bourgeois-democratic rev- 
olution. Land reform, a complete break 
with impel ialist power, and democracy 
— all of these become the subject of 
compromise with the imperialists, and 
repression of the people. 


had hamstrung all Tprevions opposi- 
tiona") but is prevented by the fatal- 
ism in his ideological pieconceptions 
from seeing its full implications, 

Trotsky's Greatness 
If this essay has seemed to dwell on 
Trotsky's errors disproportionately to 
his immeasurably greater and better 
known achievements it is in order to 
emphasize through what travail the 
idea of the new revolutionary move- 
ment, unconditionally committed to 
workers' democracy and to struggle 
against Stalinist and Social-Democratic 
bureaucracies, had to pass to achieve 
birth. This is the ultimate significance 
of Trotsky's tragic destiny. His call 
for a Fourth Iiitcrriutional was far 
more than a meie recognition of the 
irremediable degeneracy of Stalinism: 
it above all demonstrated with unchal- 
lengeable moral authority and gave 
living symbolic form to the survival of 
revolutionary Marxism as a spiritual 
ideal and political force. 

Deutscher, however, just as he earl- 
ier had understated the significance of 
Trotsky's errors is now led by a com- 
parable fatalism to question his achiev- 
ment. True, Deutscher cannot be gain- 
said when he contends that the Fourth 
Intei'national, like even the Comintern 
before it, never succeeded in attaining 
actuality as a u-orld rcvolntionaru 
party, or that Trotsky's revolutionary 
expectations in both instances were 
over-optimistic. P,ut this does not even 
touch Trotsky's real pii i pose — to de- 
fine the construction of the revolution- 
ary international as the .1 itical task 

confronting contemporary socialism. 

Deutsche!- can cite the partial re- 
forms in the Soviet Union since 1953, 
or the socialist direction taken, in dis- 
torted form, by the Chinese revolution 
thanks, he says, to "the gravitational 
pull of the Soviet Union"'^; but he 
himself recognizes that these leave 
open the question of the ultimate va- 
lidity of Trotsky's revolutionary per- 

Fourth International 

For our part we recognize these 
facts as fully as does Deutscher, but 
draw a firmer conclusion: the mani- 
fest limits of these "objective process- 
es" can be transcended only through a 
political struggle mobilizing the work- 
ing classes of "East" and "West" to- 
waid the practical realization of 
Trotsky's essential program. The con- 
cept of the Fourth, 1 titernatioval there- 
fore emerges with even greater clarity 
as the conscious foim, equally symbolic 
and rational, of mankind's present his- 
torical necessity. ■ 


1. In his introduction the author states "The 
three volumes of the present work are, of course, 
interconnected. . . . But 1 have so planned them 
that each volume is as far as possible self con- 
tained and can be read as an independent work," 

2. Froulut Viitcaat. p. 480 

3. Propliet Armpd. \). \-u 

4. Prophi't Armed, p. xii 
:>. P TO Armed. i>. vu 
«. Prnuliet Unarmed, p. ix 

7. Propliet Oiilrast. p. 512 

8. }'ro,,l,,t I'ltarmed. p. yO 
H. Ibid., p. iu:i-104 

10. Ib,d.. |). h:! 

1 1. Trotsky. ,Mi/ Life. p. 4!)? 

■d. V 


Marxists in our epoch, organized be- 
hind the program of Lenin and Trot- 
sky in the Fourth International, have 
approached this problem always with 
the theory of Permanent Revolution. 
Only the working class,, leading the 
poor peasantry, with its own Marxist 
party in a struggle for workers' state 
power, can complete the bourgeois- 
democratic revolution, and for this, a 
political struggle against the national 
bourgeoisie is necessary. 

In Algeria, these problems were pre- 
sented in almost classical form. 

However, a whole group of so-called 
Trotskyists, the revisionists, Pablo, 
Germain, Frank and later the leaders 
of the American Socialist Workers 
Party, who came to their support in 
in the "United Secretariat," in- 
stead of opposing the national bour- 
geoisie and fighting for an independent 
proletarian revolutionary party, offer- 
ed themselves as apologists for the 
bourgeois-nationalist leaders. 

These revisionists encouraged the 
fatal illusion that colonial liberation 
movements would transform themselves 
into socialist revolution without the 
independent Marxist party, and with- 
out a struggle against the bourgeois 

They went further, and concluded 
that nationalist leaders, such as Ben 
Bella, would lead the nation to the 
establishment of a workers' state. 

Pablo, who recently split from Ger- 
main, Frank and Hansen in Paris, 
went to the extreme of taking a post 
in the Ben Bella administration. 

For something like a year, these 
Pabloites, particularly the Paris clique, 
have expressed shamefaced doubts 
about their "premature" conclusion 
that Algeria was a "workers' state." 

They have written "worried" arti- 
cles about the masses' resistance to 
bureaucracy and the concentration of 
power in the centralized state and 

Final Blow 

The Boumedienne coup has delivered 
the final crushing blow to this revision- 
ist school (see last week's I\'eiv>f!cttcr) . 
A revolutionary situation with a di- 
vided ruling class today finds the Al- 
gerian working class an<l peasantry 

Those revisionists who lent the name 
of "Trotskyism" and "Marxism" to the 
stifling of independent woi king-class 


— 13 

politic? bear a historic responsibility 
for this situation. 

They condemned the International 
Committee, and its sections, such as 
the Socialist Labour League, for "sec- 
tarianism" when we denounced the 
arrests of oppositionists like Boudiaf, 
and when we drew attention to the 
capitalist character of the Algerian 
state and of the Evian agreement, to 
the suppression of independent trade 
unions and to the centralized state's 
restrictions on workers and peasants. 

Above all, we were condemned for 
an insistence that the workers must 
have their own party, independent of 
the National Liberation Front (FLN), 
independent of the bourgeoisie, and op- 
posed to the myth of national unity 
perpetrated by Ben Bella and the 
bourgeois leaders. 

The supporters and sympathizers of 
this revisionist tendency are now of 
course in disarray. 

The Militant, organ of the Socialist 
Workers Party, appeared last week- 
end with just over 100 words on the 
coup — "the facts are still unclear." 

It would have been better to remain 
silent, we suggest, than to say in one 
sentence : 

"The military coup that overthrew 
the Ben Bella regime is obviously a 
political move of the deepest sig- 
nificance for the Algerian people and 
the world socialist movement." 
And then to say in the next: 

". . . it is not realistically possible 
to determine if General Boumed- 
ienne^a seizure of power will mean 
a general continuation of the pol- 
icies of the Ben Bella government 
or a significant shift auay from 

Fortunately, perhaps, The Militant 
now goes on to its summer schedule and 
will not appear again until 12 July. 

If we turn to World Outlook, pub- 
lished by the United Secretariat in 
Paris, we find a more comprehensive 

"Boumedienne's seizure of Power" 
is the main news article, which in- 
forms us that the Algiers' coup "has 
been judged by experts [?] in this 
field to be one of t^e most skillful in 
history. It caught virtually everyone 
by complete surprise, the most stunned 
of all being Ben Bella who was hauled 
out of his bedroom at 2:25 a.m. by 
the conspirators." No doubt! 

Once the inspired journalism is done 
with, we get down to the political ver- 
dict. Says World Outlook: 

"In the absence of a well-organized 
vanguard party, of unions with an 
independent leadership, the army 
stood as the only cohesive power in 
the country." 

In the guise of a "Marxist" commen- 
tary, we here have a blanket drawn 

over the decisive riuestioiis. 

What is a "vvell-ortiaiiizod vtint:uat<i 
party"? There is deliberate confusion 

World Outlook wants one set of 
readers (Ben Bella's entourage, the 
July 26 movement in Cuba' and all 
sorts of "progressives") to understand 
by this phrase the official party of the 
Algerian state, the National Libera- 
tion Front. One wing of the Algerian 
national bourgeoisie and most, perhaps, 
of the Algerian petty-bourgeois poli- 
ticians, would prefer control through 
this party to army control. 

At the same time, World Outlook 
hopes that those who regard thepiselves 
as Trotskyists will understand by a 
"vanguard party," the revolutionary 
proletarian party of Marxism. 

Above all, the relation between the 
two things must not be clarified. 

But this clarification is precisely 
what has been necessary in the past 
period. In this way, the revisionists 
complete their betrayal, just as they 
did in Ceylon. 

In the same issue of World Outlook 
is published a declaration by the "Unit- 
ed Secretariat of the Fourth Interna- 
tional" (i.e., Paris revisionists) on 23 
June, "Defend the Algerian Revolu- 
tion." Here, the position of the revi- 
sionists is stated more precisely. 

In this declaration, all manner of 
radical phrases are thrown out, but the 
question of independent working-class 


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This same World Outlook com- 
mented only a few weeks ago that Ben 
Bella's announcement withdrawing the 
death sentence on Ait Ahmed was a 
"sign of the strength of the Ben Bella 

Now they say: 

"The ease with which Ben Bella was 

niiiiirid fimii iiiiivcy . . . shnirs the 
(■(in<'<-liiist< (if llic (■ iiticiKiiiK irhich 
Ihr rrrolHl„n,arii ,!/(/ / r/srs offered 
irhllc Niipjxiil liKj lioi Bella agni)i^t 
the riijiit-iciiii/ forces that sought 
to block, slov (Inwv and de-rail the 
Algerian revolution." 
How "correct" can you get? World 
Outlook says all this has happened be- 
cause : 

". . . the Algerian revolution had not 
been carried through to the end, to 
the ivsfitufio)! of a vorkers' state 
based 0)i coin inittees of workers and 
poor peasants exercising the real 

The main question is ignored: such 
a state could only have been created 
by building a Marxist revolutionary 
party, opposing the bourgeois nation- 
alists in every one of the actions which 
they took to halt the revolution and 
consolidate their own power. 

The ]evisionists, instead, speculated 
about whether Ben Bella was "another 
Castro," i.e., someone capable, in their 
opinion, of taking the revolution 
through to workers' power. 

All the criticisms in the world of 
Ben Bella's compromises with the 
Right, his attacks on the unions, his 
concentration of personal power, are 
worse than useless without the struggle 
to build an alternative, the basis of 
which must be a revolutionary work- 
ers' party. 

In so far as the revisionists only 
campaigned for greater "pressure," or- 
ganized by the "Ifft wing" to change 
the policy of the FLN, they helped the 
reactionary forces to prepare the pres- 
ent situation. 

Their deception now will convince no 
one in Algeria, France or anywhere 
else. The sum total of their politics 
was to persuade militants that the 
FLN itself could become the "mass van- 
guard party" which they now talk 
about at every turn. 


And so to the miserable conclusions 
of this declaration (of bankruptcy). 
The theory of the permanent revolu- 
tion, it appears, has "been strikingly 
confirmed; this time, unfortunately 
[sic] not in a positive sense as in the 
case of Cuba, but in a negative way." 

After advocating liquidation of the 
revolutionary party, placed by Trotsky 
at the center of the theory of the 
permanent revolution, you then pro- 
nounce the verdict that "unfortunate- 
ly," the theory has been confirmed in a 
"negative" way. 

The whole process is viewed as 
something separate from Marxist the- 
ory, not as a process in which this 
theory, given concrete form in the rev- 
olutiotiary party, plays a decisive ob- 
jective role. 

(Continued Next Page) 

14 — 


. . . ALGERIA 

Only after the negative confirmation, 
is it necessary to say, as does the 
declaration's next sentence, that: 
"No conquests in a colonial revolu- 
tion can he considered to have been 
consolidated until a workers' state 
has been created, until a revolution- 
ary socialist party has been built, 
until the workers and poor peasants 
hold power through their own insti- 
tutions of proletarian democracy." 
Not a word about the criminal con- 
fusion beween the working-class rev- 
olutionary party and the bourgeois- 
national movement. Not a word about 
the criminal responsibility of the auth- 
ors of the same declaration, who have 
been in the forefront of the revisionist 
subordination to bourgeois-national 
leaders like Ben Bella. 

Their vagueness about the "Algerian 
left wing" is matched by the state- 
ments earlier this year by Pablo, re- 
cently expelled fi-om the leadership of 
the United Secretariat. He referred 
constantly to "the organized left, the 
marching wing" of the revolution, but 
he discussed always within the frame- 
work of Algeria as a country on the 
road to socialism. 

When he criticised government tutel- 
age of the unions he did this always in 
terms of the state becoming isolated 
from the masses. 

What was actually required was a 
struggle of the workers, leading the 
poor peasantry, to fight behind a Trot- 
skyist party for their own power in 
opposition to the existing state. 

Ben Bella has for years been con- 
solidating the centralized state power 
against the workers and peasants. 
Boijmedienne and the right have thrown 
him out because he did not go far 
enough and was too prone to give 
concessions to the masses. 

As soon as Ben Bella had worked 
with Bouniedienne for the 19()2 ovcr- 
thi'ow of the old provisional govern- 
ment, he used Boumedienne's army to 
consolidate bourgeois state power. 

This army was quite separate from 
the popular liberation force which 
fought the French. It was preserved in 
relatively privileged and comfortable 
conditions after the liberation, having 
previously been kept out of the fight- 


It was used to suppress and disarm 
all remaining- forces of the Maquis in 
the different regions of Algeria. The 
resolution of the National Liberation 
Front Congress to create a people's 
militia I'eniained just a scrap of jiaper. 

This army consolidated its power 
while independence of the unions was 
eaten away and the land reform was 
halted. It was a classical example of 

the bourgeoisie halting the democratic 
revolution, to collaborate with impe- 
rialism, and attack the workers and 

Ben Bella, with his demagogic 
speeches and popular appeal, was ne- 
cessary to the Algerian bourgeoisie 
and the imperialists only during the 
initial difficult period. 

The reactionaries behind Boumedi- 
enne have now decided that his» "left" 
talk about socialism can be dispensed 
with, and they will provide their own 

This does not mean that the struggle 
is over or that the new regime is firmly 
established, but there can no longer be 
any doubt about the forces which have 
been established. 

Certainly the Algerian events are of 
great consequence for Marxist theory 
and for the working-class movement. 
But the revisionists of the "United 
Secretariat" cannot calculate this sig- 
nificance because it involves above all 
an accounting of their own role. 

As in Ceylon, revisionism has led to 
betrayal, and has prepared the way for 
defeats. But the struggle against that 
revisionism can be strengthened now 
that the lessons are being driven home. 

Just as the workers and peasants of 
Ceylon and Algeria have not yet spok- 
en their last word, so the Fourth Inter- 
national is no longer held back in its 
development by the revisionists. 

On the contrary, they are being rap- 
idly dissolved and defeated. This is a 
necessary part of the revived inter- 
national struggle of the working class. 
■ [from Newsletter, 3 July 1965] 

. . . CHICAGO 

(Continued from Page 16) 

HOOD PEOPLE!" In conclusion, Spar- 
tacist calknl for the freeing of all those 
arrested and jailed during the riots. 

Two supporters of Spartacist were 
anested for "incitement to riot" and 
"mob action" while in possession of 
this leaflet. Held in jail for three days, 
they weie subsequently released on 
S1,000 bail each. They were later con- 
victed of disorderly conduct and fined 
.?400. The more serious charges were 
dropped because the prosecution ad- 
mitted it lacked adequate evidence. 

Specter of Spartacist 

The partici^jation of Spartacist, 
aloiip among organized political move- 
ments, in the cause of the Negro peo- 
ple during the riots provoked wide- 
spread conmient in the world press, 
from Mexico to Germany to China. 
Tiiiir magazine (20 August) reported: 
'"J'hc Flil K'us investigating the origin 
of aiiolher, anoiiymous leaflet distribut- 

ed in the area. 'After years of frame- 
ups, brutality and intimidation,' it said, 
'the black people are throwing off the 
control of the same rulers who are mak- 
ing war on working people throughout 
the world — in Viet Nam, the Dominican 
Republic and the Congo.' " James Rob- 
ertson, editor of Spartacist, submitted 
the following reply (23 August) to 
the editors of Time. 

"In your account of the Shicago 
black ghetto outburst (20 August), 
you falsely identify as 'anonymous' a 
leaflet produced by the Chicago sup- 
porters of Spartacist, o Trotskyist 

"This leaflet was signed by the local 
Spartacist Committee, together with 
its mailing addy-ess and phone num- 
ber. The leaflet ivas in no sense anon- 
ymous; it was part and parcel of our 
desire to help trails form these spon- 
taneous, leaderlcss upheavals into 

Spartacist Local Directory 

AUSTIN. Box 8165, Univ. Sta., Austin, Texas 

78712. GR 2-3716. 
BALTIMORE. Box 1345, Main P.O., Baltimore, 

Md. 21203. LA 3-3703. 
BERKELEY. Box 852. Main P.O., Berkeley, Cal. 

94701. TH 8-7369. 
CHICAGO. Box 9295, Old P.O. Sta., Chicago, 

111. 60690. Ph. 772-8817. 
CINCINNATI. Box 46141, Glendale Sta., Cincin- 
nati, Ohio 45246. 
COLUMBUS. Box 3142, Univ. Sta., Columbus, 

Ohio 43210. Ph. 299-3982. 
EUREKA. Box 3061, Eureka, Cal. 95501. Ph. 


HARTFORD. Box 57, Blue Hill Sta., Hartford, 

Conn. 06112. Ph. 525-1257. 
HOUSTON. Box 18431, Eastvi^ood Sta., Houston, 

Texas 77023. Ph. 926-9946. 
ITHACA. Box 442, Ithaca, N. Y. 14851. Ph. 


lOS ANGELES. Box 4054, Term. Annex, Los 
Angeles, Cal. 90054. Ph. 667-2688. 

MINNEAPOLIS, (contact New York) 

NEW ORLEANS. Box 8121, Gentilly Sta., New 
Orleans, La. 70122. WH 4-1510. 

NEW YORK. Box 1377, G.P.O., New York City, 
N.Y. 10001. UN 6-3093. 

SAN FRANCISCO, (contact New York) 

SEATTLE, (contact New York) 

> /- 

conscious political struggle for the 
social liberation of the Negro peo- 

Time responded, "Although we were 
unable for reasons of space to publish 
your letter, we thank you for setting 
the record straight and for your in- 
terest in Time's reporting." 

Peking Review (20 August) repro- 
duced the quotation from the Sparta- 
cist leaflet reported by Time as ah ex- 
pression of the sentiment of Chicago 
Negroes, and returned once more to 
the quotation the following week (27 
August) in a reprint of an editorial in 
Rcnmin Ribao (19 August), the lead- 
ing daily in China. 

(Continued Top Next Page) 


— 15 

Los Angeles 
Since no explicit demands emerged 
out of the heat of the Los Angeles 
riots, the analysis in our Chicago leaf-' 
let and our support the suninier before 
to the i)eople of Harlem under police 
attack were indirectly .ueneralized by 
the pres^. Thus a nationally syndicated 
column (iate-lined Los Angeles report- 

From the beginning the Chicago 
civil rights struggle has exhibited, in 
specific instances, a high degree of par- 
ticipation on the part of the Negro 
working class. The first school boycott 
of 1963 was highly successful, and 
placed the Mayor Daley machine in a 
serious bind. Both token gestures, like 
the removal of the "Willis-wagons" 
the summer before, and ingid intransi- 
gence had the danger of heightening 
the level of consciousness and partici- 
pation. Thus the second boycott took on 
special importance: for while the first 
boycott represented a "petition to 
our leaders," the second implied a de- 
velopment in the movement beyond the 
leadership, program and tactics toler- 
ated by the bourgeoisie. Those who, 
during the first boycott, received the 
"grievances of the Negro community" 
with paternalistic patience were driven 
to rally their kept leaders and kept 
press to smash the second. With the 
success of the second school boycott, 
for the first time in Chicago, large 
masses of Negro people rejected the 
leadership of the official movement. 
Only on a localized basis had this 
happened before. 

Early Leadership Fails 

But from the beginning the crisis 
in leadership has infected the Chicago 
civil rights movement. The Rose Simp- 
son — CORE dissident militants — left 
YPSL grouping represented the only 
radical class-conscious tendency that 
could have bid for city-wide leadership. 
A move for leadership was never at- 
tempted because of a deep-seated blind 
activist streak, a strong fear of "Red- 
baiting," and generally a fear of politi- 
cal struggle beyond the demand for 
elementary rights. Later these forces 
formed the Metropolitan CORE Chap- 
ter where, with the exception of a few 
minor projects, they hibernated for a 
year and a half before their emergence 
at the May 1965 HUAC hearings dem- 

Un-American Hearings 
The House Committee had as its 
prime purpose in "investigating sub- 


''Others said that the action [the 
Watts uprising] ivas vltimatcly cov- 
trulled 1)1/ 0)1 organization nitli tlie 
siiiist<r-soii iidiiig vuiiic of Sparla- 
CKs, a hcieficol Coniittinii^t organi- 
zation. that seoiis to be presevt 
irhercvcr there is scrio/is trouble in 
big cities." ■ 

versives" the intimidation of the civil 
rights and peace movements. While es- 
tablished "leaders" were calling for 
quiet and dignified picket lines the 
Chicago Committee to Stop HUAC, 
made up of the activists of Metropoli- 
tan CORE, SNCC workers, supporters 
of the IWW, ASOC, and Spartacist, 
proposed direct action that would 
bring the HUAC hearings to an end. 
The morning after the demonstration, 
lead headlines in the daily press read, 
ASSAULT." The YSA and W.E.B. du 
Bois Clubs were conspicuously absent 
from the attempt to end the hearings, 
the success of which set the pace for 
the summer to come. 

Willis — A Living Provocation 

An advisor to Mayor Daley was 
reported to have said in mid-May of 
this year that the civil rights move- 
ment could not materialize over 100 
supporters at a picket line. Thus, Willis 
was retained as superintendent of 
schools by the Chicago Board of Edu- 
cation. The retention of Willis the man 
was only an indication that the Board 
again would make no concessions. At 
first the Negro leaders, with Al Raby 
at the fore, planned to respond to this 
provocation with a week-long boycott. 
With the announcement that the city 
would obtain a court injunction, SNCC 
and CORE wavered, and the leadership 
in deference to the "law" called off the 
boycott when the courts granted the 

Toward New Leadership 

From the beginning of this siimmer's 
demonstrations there was dissatisfac- 
tion with both the leadership and the 
program of the civil rights movement. 
One expression of this dissatisfaction 
was the Committee to Make Daley 
Jump, which urged, in a leaflet, active 
solidarity with the taxi strike then 
in progress. That this proposal did 
not receive support revealed the ir- 

. . . PLP 

(Continued from Page 7) 

We know there are PL members who 
are sickened by attempts to apologize 
for the Comintern's "Third Period" 
sectarian splitting of the German 
working class, which opened the road 
to power for Adolf Hitler. Moreover, 
we know that there are PL members 
who are becoming increasingly aware 
that something is basically wrong with 
China's foreign policy, which proclaims 
treacherous capitalist politicians like 
the late Nehru, Sukarno and Prince 
Sihanouk as its friends and allies. 
China's pursuit of a counter-revolu- 
tionary policy abroad, in turn, puts in 
question the political nature of the 
Mao regime itself. 

Finally, for some PL members it is 
but a step to realize that contemporary 
* Trotskyism is nothing but an extension 
of the program of Lenin and Trotsky 
which culminated in the October Revo- 
lution — a working-class revolution 
whose degeneration under Stalin and 
later brought it down to the political 
level of the peasant-based and deeply 
contradictory revolutions in Yugosla- 
via, China and Cuba. 

An Amalgam 

What better way for an uneasy lead- 
ership to silence such currents within 
PL than to link them to a pro-imperial- 
ist and white chauvinist parody of the 
- ideas of Spartacist, and then slyly to 
link Spartacist to the U.S. State De- 
partment. Spartacist will certainly 
survive this attack, but Progressive 
Labor may not. The authors of the PL 
Statement show themselves adept at 
the language, not of Marxist political 
thought and polemic, but of the politi- 
cal police — the language of provoca- 
tion, calculated lies, and frame-ups. 
But the Stalinized Communist Parties 
in the days of the Moscow Trials had 
large numbers and great, if already 
debased, authority to compel accept- 
ance of virulent anti-Trotskyism. 

PL's Choice 
Those days are long gone. If the 
leaders of the few hundred who make 
up PL persist in their anti-Trotskyist 
course, they will shrivel into another 
isolated Maoist sect, competing with 
the several already existing, irrelevant 
little bands of self-appointed defenders 
of the Chinese-Albanian-Stalinist faith. 
The choice is PL's. ■ 

— Resident Editorial Board 

remediable weakness of the leadership. 
And the crisis of leadership was di- 
rectly responsible for the elemental, 
unorganized outbursts which ensued. 
The sharp decline in struggle in the 
wake of the riots makes compellingly 
clear the need for principled revolu- 
tionary leadership. ■ —Bob Sherwood 

II. The Struggle for 
Militant Leadership 

16 — 




I. The Riots and Spartacist 

"The tension exploded with a raw 
fury, spilling terror through the West 
Side commimity under cover of night," 
said the Chicago Daily Nevjs, Satur- 
day, 14 August, following: the Friday 
night riots on the west side of Chicago. 
Although the bourgeois press accounts 
attributed the "terror" to "Negroes 
run amuck" the residents of the ghetto 
in the West Garfield Park area had a 
somewhat clearer picture of who was 
being terrorized by whom. "/ was sit- 
ting in a bar on Pulaski vjhen they 
[the cops] cnme in, pulled gvns, and 
lined everyone against the ivall. Those 
who didn't know what vms really hap- 
pening ayid didn't jump fast enough 
vjere clubbed down. As I was being led 
to the wagon with a pistol at my head 
I heard the mael\,inc gun fire from down 
the street . . . ," said a 22-year-old Ne- 
gro youth arrested in the riot. Another 
youth said, "After we hit Goldblatt's [a 
department store] three of us headed 
down Madison where we ran into cops 
who had broken through the barri- 

cades. We split and ran. I made it 
down an a Hey where as jumping a 
fence I heard the machine gun. I went 
to 7ny belly and cinu-lrd au-ny under 
fire with biillcf.^ i)oinidiiig info flic 
fence where 1 had been." Among the 
cops present — there were about 500 — - 
were reported open Nazi sympathizers, 
distinguished liy swastikas on their 
bolt buckles or by their open advocacy 
of Nazi methods: "Hitler did it to peo- 
ple like you." 

No Middle Ground 
Black woi-kei-s in Chicago (as well 
as in Los Angeles), battling the police, 
were no longer submitting to the usual 
brutalities, intimidation and frame- 
ups. Those "leaders" who called for 
the people to go home, or called off 
demonstrations as Al Raby did, were 
participating on the side of the cops. 
The Chicago and Los Angeles riots 
scraped off the non-v'olent veneer from 
tlie actual policies of the kept civil 
rights leaders. On the one hand they 
called upon the iieojile to go home. 

while on the other hand they supported 
the occupation by police and troops. 
It was no accident that Martin Luther 
King, Dick Gregory and Al Raby did 
not call for non-violence on the part 
of the co]is, for to do so would have 
meant opjiosing the police arm of the 
system which these men support and 

Riols and Revolufion 

Riots as such are not beneficial, for 
they are an unorganized and undirect- 
ed outpouring of the grievances of the 
masses. Clearly the problem is not any 
lack of combativity on the part of the 
.Negro population but rather their lack 
of leadership and program. The task 
of l eal leaders is to organize the strug- 
.ule and to put forward demands which 
give the Negro movement political di- 
rection beyond its present scope. 

Spartacist Intervenes 

"GET THE COPS OUT," begins a 
Spartacist leaflet which was distrib- 
uted in the West Side ghetto on 14 
.August. It continues, "The cops and 
the Daley Machine had this coming. 
The ))C(iple arc in I he right, the cops 
in the wrong. 

"The /-rr.s-.s- informs us that Daley 
oil, I his iliiiikics had to mobilize their 
XutioiKil Guard today to enforce 'law 
and order' if iiicrssuri/. 'Law and or- 
der' to these modern-day taskmasters 
means the sn)ne treatment black folks 
hare received for the last 400 years. 
Tlirir 'law and order' is the conduct of 
rioting cops in Chicago and Los An- 
geles as ii-ell as of U.S. troops in Viet- 
nam. Their 'la IV and order' has nothing 
in common, u-ifh the black working 
jicoplc. For when a people assume what 
/.s- their civil rights to start with, the 
Ddleys and Wilsons invoke 'law and 
order' to take it away." 

Further on, the leaflet continues, 
"H'e must organize to defend the ghet- 
to from cop terror! REMOVE THE 
(Continued Bottom Page 14) 

Muhammed Speaks 

KING ON WATTS: "It was necessary that as powerful a police force 
as possible be brought in to check them . . (NY Times, 16 Aug.) 



Box 1377. G.P.O. 
New York. N. Y. 10001 

twelve issues — $1 
six issues — 50^ 




Inlernalional Unity Smashed . . . Pages 2, 6, 7 






At the beginning of 1965 the Vietnamese liberation 
struggle seemed to many to be tiie spearhead of a eon- 
tinuing wave of anti-imperialist movements through 
Southeast Asia. The Chinese leaders stridently pro- 
claimed that such "democratic national liberation strug- 
gles" would lead to the victorious encirclement of the 
advanced countries by the peasant countryside of the 
revolutionary colonial world. Writers of U.S. Foreign 


Once again Trotskyists are suffering the blows of 
capitalist and "socialist" oppressors alike. A leader of 
the Movimiento Revolucionario 13 has been killed in 
Guatemala and a visiting Trotskyist journalist jailed 
there; eight Trotskyists are being held in a Mexican 
jail and at least five have been imprisoned in Poland. 

Protests mount against the persecutions in Poland. 
Most notably, Isaac Deutscher has addressed an open 
letter to Gomulka. So far less attention has been paid 
to those under attack in Latin America. 

While many thousands of miles separate Poland 
fi-om Latin America, ideology takes precedence over 
geography; and the bureaucratic rulers of Poland, the 
Guatemalan dictatorship and the "democratic" Mexi- 
can government respond identically to the threat of 
the ideas of Leon Trotsky. 

Student Strike 

Arrests in Mexico followed on the heels of a 43-day 
student strike at the National Autonomous University. 
Striking students in a massive demonstration occupied 
the University rector's office and forced Ignacio Chavez 
to sign his resignation. While it is not clear what role, 
if any, they played in these demonstrations, it was just 
after these April 25th demonstrations that suppoi'ters 
of the Partido Obrero Revolucionario (Trotskyists) 
were rounded up by Mexican police. 

Adolfo Gilly, widely known for his articles in Monthly 
Review on the Cuban Revolution and the Guatemalan 
MR13, was the central figure in the government crack- 
down. Two of the arrested were Argentines, the other 
five were Mexican. 

(Continued on Page 4) 

Policy propaganda used a similar line of reasoning to 
justify the slaughter in Vietnam as an urgent effort to 
contain China. 

Instead, during the past 15 months there has been 
a 180-degree turn in the tactical situation in Southeast 
Asia in favor of U.S. Imperialism. On 16 April, Secre- 
tary of State Rusk, speaking before the Senate Far 
East Subcommittee, explained a possible change in 
present China policy: "We knoir — the irhnle tvorld 
knoivs — that the Chinese Com nnm ists have .suffered set- 
backs during tJie past 14 nu.n'hs. . . . They have suf- 
fered a major setback in hidonesia — tlie Indonesian 
Commiivist party lias been decimated." 

Buddhist Front? 

The bankruptcy of U.S. military policy in Vietnam, 
the ])resent "civil war within a civil war," thus occurs 
at a tirrte when the U.S. is compelled and able to con- 
sider and adopt new imperialist tactical • policies which 
were not acceptable to 'Washington even a year ago. 
Washington must now seek to gain by political betrayal 
what it has failed to secure by military means; Rusk &, 
Company must now seriously consider accepting the 
kind of "Buddhist"-dominated popular, front govern- 
ment it ruled out during 1965. 

A "Buddhist"-dominated popular front regime, even 
if it included representatives of the National Libera- 
tion Front, could pi-ove to be a mere episode on the 
road to the victory of a stable counterrevolutionary re- 
gime in South Vietnam. The recent counterrevolution 
in Indonesia, like the preceding counterrevolution in 
Algeria, like China of 1925-27, demonstrates afresh 
that the military arm of "democratic national libera- 
tion forces." which Mao and Castro instruct us to sup- 
port, is objectively a pro-capitalist force in the long 
run. At the first appropriate turn in the situation, the 
military arm of a popular front regime will slaughter 
the communists and the working-class vanguard. The 
generals then establish a government oriented to im- 
perialist "aid." After all the sacrifices of the workers 
and peasants, the same old crap begins all over again — 
as in Algeria and Indonesia. Washington's main task is 
to find diplomatic agents in Moscow — and possibly Pe- 
king — to help suck the Viet Cong into this political trap. 

Imperialism's Agents 

As for Moscow, Washington can certainly depend 
upon Brezhnev & Company for something in the tradi- 
tion of Yalta, Potsdam, Tashkent, etc. Despite the mili- 
(Continued on Page 8) 



A Bimonthly Organ of Revolutionary Marxism 

EDITOR: James Robertson 
Managing EDITOR: Carol Lawrence 
West Coast EDITOR: Geoffrey White 

Subscription: 50<f yearly. Bundle rates for 10 or more copies. 
Main address: Box 1377, G.P.O., New York, N. Y. 10001. Tele- 
phone: UN 6-3093. Western address: P.O. Box 852, Berkeley, Calif. 
94701. Telephone: TH 8-7369. 

Opinions expressed ir| signed articles do not necessarily repre- 
sent an editorial viewpoint. 

Number 6 ■t^^K-s2i June-July 1966 



The unity between the American Committee for the 
Fourth International and Spartacist has been smashed. 
The Trotskyist movement internationally and in the 
U.S. is being seriously disorganized by G. Healy and 
M. Banda, leaders of the British Socialist Labour League. 
The Healy group dominates the International Commit- 
tee of the Fourth International, whose forces, includ- 
ing ourselves, we deem the essential political reposi- 
tory in this period of authentic revolutionary Marxism, 
i.e.. Trotskyism. 

The current wrecking campaign being pushed in the 
columns of the ACFI Bulletin and elsewhere represents 
a 180-degree turn away from the principled fusion 
line advanced by Healy at the October 1965, Montreal 
conference. Then Healy insisted, with our full concur- 
rence, that the three-year-long unjustified (and, un- 
principled) division between Spartacist and ACFI must 
be brought promptly to an end; ACFI-Spartacist fu- 
sioij, he then insisted, was an absolute pre-condition for 
building the Trotskyist movement in the U.S. 

Now, in the wake of the April London I.C. Confer- 
ence (reported on in this issue) Healy, without offer- 
ing any serious political pretext for his actions, has 
diverted the energies of the I.C. away from building 
an international to conducting a campaign of petty 
internecine warfare against those with whom, up to 
April, he proposed to unify. By his own criteria of last 
October, Healy has set out to wreck the revolutionary 
movement in the United States. 

This compels Spartacist to evaluate this Healy with 
whom we have been in political solidarity since 1961. 
We must redefine our tasks in the light of this recent 

Healy's Line 

The issue which Healy cites to justify his strange 
actions is that spartacist editor, Robertson, refused 

to denounce himself before the Conference as "a petty- 
bourgeois American chauvinist." 

This incident proves, according to Healy, the politi- 
cal and organizational character of the entire Sparta- 
cist organization ! 

Now, the BvUetiv and particularly Healy's volumi- 
nous personal correspondence to Spartacist and ACFI 
members, are filled with all sorts of charges against 
Spartacist. Most of these charges, it is interesting to 
note, are identical with objections to unification raised 
by Wohlforth at Montreal, where Healy denounced 
Wohlforth as a "non-Marxist" for his approach to 
Spartacist on just these grounds. Now, Healy reverts 
to this same "non-Marxist" nonsense — on the pretext 
that Robertson suddenly revealed his "true nature" in 

The Actual Issues 

There is a consistent political issue underneath 
Healy's surface irrationalities. It was only with consid- 
erable negotiation that the Spartacist delegation at 
Montreal won the following concession from Healy: 
"Tactical disagreements on work in the U.S. will not 
be an obstacle to unity provided decisions do not con- 
travene the basic documents of the world movement." 
Healy reluctantly agreed to the right of national sec- 
tions to make their own tactical decisions, a right 
whose importance is demonstrated by the degeneration 
of the Comintern under Stalin: national leaderships 
reduced to incompetent, Kremlin-servile hacks devoid 
of revolutionary capacity. 

Since Wohlforth had completely discredited himself 
at the joint ACFI-Spartacist New York membership 
meeting on the eve of the April Conference, Healy 
could no longer proceed on the (always false) assump- 
tion that a cohesive ACFI fraction under Wohlforth 
would simply march into and take over the "loose, 
activist" Spartacist organization. This weakening of 
Wohlforth's position was aggravated by the latter's 
political break with ACFI's proclaimed theoretical 
leader, L. Marcus, at the same time. If fusion were 
carried out, Wohlforth would enter Spartacist as i-ep- 
resentative of a doubly-isolated faction; Healy was 
faced with the prospect of an American section led by 
a bloc which would resist Healy's Cominternist prac- 
tices. Under the circumstances, Healy could not accept 
fusion unless Robertson servilely degraded himself at 
the conference. Healy doesn't want any section in the 
I.C. that Healy himself does not control down to the 
last nut and bolt. 

What This Means 

A section of Spartacist then forming the SWP Revo- 
lutionary Tendency had a similar experience with 
Healy in 1962. Healy insisted that the R.T. bloc with 
the Dobbs leadership of the SWP as a still genuinely 
revolutionary tendency, against Hansen, Weiss and 
Warde. R.T. leaders were given an ultimatum to sign 
such an agreement without discussion, vote or appeal. 
At that time the R.T. wrote: "One of the most serious 
implications of the mode of intervention of the SLL-IC 
is the question mark it places over the capacity of 
these comrades to rebuild the Fourth International on 
a solid basis. We must reserve final judgment until 
more of the circumstances are clear." 

The circumstances are now quite clear. Healy and 
Banda, free-swinging figures in control of the SLL 


partj' machinery, have, for the moment, an organiza- 
tional hammerlock on the I.C. They have used their 
hammerlock at the recent conference to drive out a 
number of candidate and observer sections and thus 
dissipate an historic opportunity for refounding Trot- 
sky's Fourth International. The Healy-Banda machine 
itself is now aptly characterized as "fake Leninist," a 
tendency whose real political character is displayed by 
its "clever" machine politics. That is to say, the experi- 
ence of the Conference, taken together with other evi- 
dence from the history of the SLL, demonstrates that 
the Healy-Banda machine subordinates real political 
issues of agreement and disagreement to the exigencies 
of organizational issues and personal prestige politics. 
That organizational tendency is itself a political issue 
of the first order. 

Turn to SWP? 

In late 19G2, Healy broke with the R.T. for char- 
acterizing the SWP leadership as centrist. Barely 
half a year later, after his opportunistic maneuver had 
failed, Healy began describing that same SWP leader- 

y — — — ^ 

Letter to ACFI Bulletin 
by W.W. of New Haven 

17 May 1976 

I am returning the bundle of 5 Bulletins, and ask that 
you discontinue sending me any more. This is apparently 
my only way of expressing my protest and indignation 
at the failure of unity between you and spartacist, a 
failure carefully engineered by Healy and Co. 

I am sure I speak for many unaffiliated comrades who 
had looked forward to the unification with great hope, 
and with the expectation of joining a united group. In 
my mind, I contrast the rigid, bureaucratic, and authori- 
tarian actions and method of Healy with the patient, 
even pedagogical attitude of Trotsky, when he was try- 
ing to build the Fourth International. 

N f 

ship as total betrayers of Trotskyism without redeem- 
ing quality. Now, in the wake of the new split with 
Spartacist, Healy again makes certain moves toward 
a new maneuver with that same SWP leadership. In a 
letter to two Spartacist members, he justifies the split 
on the grounds that unification "would have strength- 
ened the anti-internationalist trend of the SWP." 
Then, in the 21 May Newsletter, after over six months' 
intensive denunciation of the SWP's Anti-War line in 
the Newsletter and Bulletin, Healy comments on the 
killing of a Detroit YSAer by a deranged person by 
praising the anti-war struggle of the SWP! In any 
case, the smashing of ACFI-Spartacist fusion is a gift 
to the revisionist SWP. 


We refrained from advancing conclusive judgments 
of ACFI until recently. The recent experience, add- 
ed to our intimate acquaintance with Wohlforth and 
his circle over many years, brought us to the conclu- 
sion that he represents a literary left-centrist tendency. 
This was graphically revealed at the tipie of the NYC 
October 16 Peace Parade. Then while the Bulletin was 
correctly attacking the popular-front nature of -the 
Parade Committee, at the same time the ACFI member- 

ship was marching under the discipline of that com- 
mittee, and refused to carry any slogans other than the 
officially approved "Stop the War^ in Vietnam Now." 

However, the ACFI with which we proposed to fuse 
consisted of more than the original eight members of 
Wohlforth's SWP sectlet. Both experienced and new 
Marxists had been drawn to ACFI on the basis of the 
I.C.'s political program. ACFI's greatest rate of growth 
occurred on the basis of its perspective of fusion with 
Spartacist. Now, since Wohlforth first called fusion 
off in an outburst at the March 20th joint membership 
meeting, over a quarter of ACFI's nearly forty mem- 
bers has dropped from the organization or joined with 
L. Marcus and Carol Lawrence in carrying out fusion 
with Spartacist. Of those who remain in ACFI, a ma- 
jority are simply unwilling to break with Healy's 
"junior Comintern," despite their contempt for the 
Wohlforth leadership clique; how many hang on re- 
mains to be seen. 

We Go Ahead 

We firmly believe that real politics shapes the direc- 
tion of organizations far more decisively than organi- 
zational and personal issues. At the same time the lat- 
ter interact with and are therefore a part of real poli- 
tics. It is from that that we draw the lessons of the 
April Conference and define our tasks flowing from it. 

We draw appropriate political conclusions from the 
organizational wrecking practices of Healy and Wohl- 
forth. However, we do not close the door to them, much 
less to all those forces within the I.C. who are their 
victims. Yet, from Healy and Wohlforth, in particu- 
lar, we will need evidence of an inner-revolution before 
collaboration would be possible. So long as they remain 
on their present bankrupt course, we are locked in an 
implacable struggle to cleanse the revolutionary move- 
ment of their poisonous influence. 

In our final statement to the I.C. Conference, with 
expulsion but minutes away in a grotesque, petty 
frame-up that gives the real measure of the Healy 
clique, we said: "// the comrades go ahead to exclude 
us from this Conference, we ask only what we have 
asked before — study our documents, including our pres- 
ent draft on U.S. work before you now, and our work 
over the next months and years. We will do the same, 
and a unification of the proper Trotskyist forces will 
be achieved, despite this tragic setback." 

In addition to extending our international ties and 
functioning as a conscious detachment of the world 
movement within the U.S., we have the duty to go on 
to build a strong American section rooted in the class 
struggle and to push forward our understanding 
through the inner-struggle confrontation between our 
acquired lessons from yesterday and the endless new 
challenges that are inherent in social life. We shall go 
forward, let our enemies beware! ■ 

draft "Theses on Building the Revolutionary Move- 
ment in the U.S. — Tasks of the Spartacist League" by 
the Spartacist delegation to the International Commit- 
tee Conference in London, April 1966. 

a copy free on request from Spartacist, Box 1 377, 
G.P.O., New York, N.Y. 10001 



(Continued from Page 1) 

After the Trotskyists (who are supporters of the 
Posadas tendency) were beaten for three days, suitable 
"confessions" were extracted. The eight were then 
brought to a preliminary hearing. At the hearing all 
"confessions" were repudiated. Instead the arrested 
Mexicans affirmed their membership in the POR and 
stated that their party seeks better wages for woi-kers, 
land for the peasants and the expropriation of North 
American industries. Under the judge's questioning one 
of the arrested Argentines affirmed that he belonged 
to the POR of his own country. No bail was set at the 
hearing, and at this writing the eight have yet to have 
formal charges brotight against them so that bail can 
be set and their release negotiated. 

Guatemalan Murder 

Red Flag, organ of the English Revolutionary Work- 
ers Party (Posadist), in its May issue reported the 
recent murder of Francisco Amado Granados. The 
newspaper states that Granados, a leader of MR13, 
was murdered by the Guatemalan dictatorship with 
the support of the Guatemalan Communist Party. 

In Guatemala, another Mexican Trotskyist student 
was arrested. David Aguilar Mora, editor of Voz 
Obrero (organ of the Mexican POR) was in Guatemala 
as a journalist reporting on MR13. Voz Obrero re- 
ported his arrest in its December 25 issue. Not much 
is now known concerning David Aguilar because he is 
still being held incommunicado by the Guatemalan dic- 
tatorship; however, it is feared that he has been tor- 
tured in order to extract a false confession and his life 
may now be in danger. 

Tied Together 

For empiricists like the SWP, what happens in Cuba 
has no substantial relationship to what happens in 
Mexico or Guatemala. Yet when Fidel Castro singled 
out Trotskyism, and most particularly the Posadas 
tendency, for attack at the Tri-Continental Conference, 
he was also fingering these comrades to the police. To 
the extent that Castro still represents the socialist revo- 
lution to the working people of Latin America, what 
he says will be a big factor in determining the vulner- 
ability of small groups like the POR which set them- 
selves apart from the anti-revolutionary line of the 
Cuban leadership. 

Castro's attack against Trotskyism allowed the Latin 
American governments to use "friendship" with the 
Cuban regime as a left cover for anti-revolutionary 
acts. Unless the counter-revolutionary line of the Castro 
leadership and the resultant slanders against Trotsky- 
ism are decisively repudiated, the freeing of the im- 
prisoned Trotskyists in both Mexico and Guatemala 
becomes more difficult. 


The threads which connect events in Mexico, 
Guatemala and Poland are tied in Cuba. Castro's be- 
trayal of the Latin American revolution comes at the 
same time as his total commitment to the Soviet camp 
in the Sino-Soviet dispute. His conscious turn toward 

"peaceful coexistence" with the United States parallels 
the current turn to Libermanism in the Soviet bloc 
countries — decentralization of industry controls cou- 
pled with greater integration of these industries into 
the world market. 

In order to make this turn, which demands that prod- 
ucts be competitive on the world market, Soviet-bloc 
technicians resort to many of the same techniques as 
their efficiency-expert counterparts in the capitalist 
countries — speedup and a reduced standard of living 
for the workers. Under such circumstances the voice of 
revolutionai'y Trotskyism becomes intolerable. Under 
such circumstances the "libei^al" Gomulka regime 
moved to silence the voice of criticism. 

Polish Trial 

Ludwik Hass and at least five others have been im- 
prisoned following a Stalin-style political trial. Hass 
has been a Trotskyist since the late 30's and as a result 
spent 18 years in Soviet prison camps. After he was 
released in 1957, he joined the Polish CP but continued 
to uphold his Trotskyist positions. Finally, Hass and 
others in his group prepared a 128-page political plat- 
form that included a characterization of the Polish re- 
gime as a bureaucratic dictatorship and a call for pro- 
letarian internationalism and workers' democracy. The 
creation and distribution of the political platform pre- 
cipitated the arrests in April 1965 of from 12 to 15 
and the trial of fewer numbers in July 1965 and Janu- 
ary 1966. Although all of the details concerning the 
trial are not yet clear, it appears that most of the de- 
fendants received prison sentences of three to three 
and one-half years. At their trial, the defendants re- 
affirmed a Trotskyist position. They led the spectatprs 
in singing the Internationale and gave the communist 

This rebirth of Trotskyism in the Soviet bloc 
comes at a time of political unrest. An aggressive, vocal 
clergy in Poland is agitating for a return to capitalism. 
Despite crimes that have been committed in the name 
of "Marxist-Leninism," despite the general apathy and 
cynicism that have resulted from the corrupt relation- 
ships formed in a deformed worker's state, revolution- 
ary ideas have again taken root. 

Uncompromising Defense 

While Deutscher should be given credit for coming 
to the defense of the Polish Trotskyists, he condemns 
himself in his own words : ". . . not being a member of 
any political organization, Trotskyist or otherwise, I 
am speaking only for myself. I should add, however, 
that on a few vei'y rare occasions I have broken my 
self-imposed political abstinence." 

Failure to understand the crucial role of the revolu- 
tionary party can only disarm the workers' movement 
and leave it open to attack. Self-styled friends of revo- 
lution who support bureaucratic regimes (the SWP 
with Fidel; Deutscher with his thesis that Stalinism 
will reform itself) in the long run open the workers' 
movement to just such attacks as have recently occurred 
in Mexico, Guatemala and Cuba. 

Although we do not know the full program of the 
Polish group and though we do have significant politi- 
cal differences with the Posadist tendency, it would be 
unprincipled to offer our persecuted comrades anything 
less than uncompromising defense. ■ 




At the conference of tlie Aineiican 
Socialist Organizing Committee held 
over Easter in New York City, Bob 
Brown moved to dissolve the organiza- 
tion after two years of existence. A 
national referendum was to be held to 
decide the question. Thus what was an 
attempt to build a national organization 
of left "third camp" socialists has 
proved to be a failure. 

Leading to the dissolution was a 
sharp internal division over the ques- 
tion of whether or not to call for the 
victory of the National Liberation 
Front of Vietnam. One group, whose 
position has been articulately express- 
ed by Kim Moody of Baltimore, holds 
that the Stalinist leadership of the 
NLF constitutes an "incipient ruling 
class," and therefore anyone lending 
any form of support to the NLF would 
be regarded by radical workers as 
"traitors of the people." 

Support the NLF? 
The opposition, led by Brown and 
Barton, correctly insists on the anti- 
imperialist nature of the current strug- 
gle by the NLF against the U.S. They 
call for critical support to the NLF by 
revolutionary socialists. It has been re- 
ported that Barton and Brown have 
declared that they are no longer third 

In protest against the proposed dis- 
solution, a conference was held in Bal- 
timore on 1 May. Present were those 
people from Philadelphia and Balti- 
more who have remained in ASOC and 
members of the Baltimore Independent 
Socialist Union. The conference estab- 
lished an editorial board which is to 
put out a bi-monthly discussion bul- 
letin. This can only be a transient or- 
ganizational form, a way station for 
the "third campers" as they move to 
the right or left. 

Joins Spartacist 

On 26 April Joe Verret, a young 
New Orleans militant, resigned from 
ASOC. We quote him: "... I HAVE 
this organization by virtue of its po- 
litical stands represents the only hope 
of building a Marxist-Leninist Van- 
guard in this country — i.e., building a 
revolution in this country. I encourage 
all those in ASOC who see the need 
for a vanguard to be built in this coun- 
try to follow the road which I have 
taken. It is not possible to build a 
revolution on the petty-bourgeois muck 
which is the organizational and theo- 
retical ground of the ASOC." 

Former members of ASOC! You 
would do well to follow Comrade Ver- 
ret's example. We urge that you re- 
consider the five points which we put 
before you at the YPSL convention 
just before the founding of ASOC. 
Once again we present these five points 

iuv discuosiuii. If we can come to es- 
sential programmatic agreement on 
them we will have the basis for fruitful 

1. For defense of the Cuban Revolu- 
tion against U.S. imperialism. The 
struggle for national liberation by the 
colonial countries is a struggle against 
imperialism. There is no neutral ground 
for revolutionary socialists. Either you 
defend the Cuban revolution or you are 
a party to efforts by the U.S. govern- 
ment to reestablish its dominance in 
Cuba. Either you defend the Vietna- 
mese revolution or you are a party to 
armed aggression against the Vietna- 
mese people. In the 195G Suez crisis 
revolutionary socialists supported 
Egypt against British and French im- 
perialism. We are not neutralists. We 
struggle against imperialism and for 
the victory of the working class in all 
countries. As the recent right turn of 
the Castro leadership illustrates, the 
best defense of the Cuban revolution 
•will be accomplished by the working 
class as it assumes power against the 
present bureaucratic regime. 

2. Against U.S. imperialism's war to 
crush the South Vietnam Liberation 
Front; for military support to North 
Vietnam against U.S. imperialism. 
Critical support to the NLF is basic 
for revolutionary socialists. Differences 
as to the nature of the Democratic 
Republic of Vietnam or of the National 
Liberation Front should not prevent 
unified action if there is agreement on 
the need to support the struggles of the 
Vietnamese people against imperialism. 

3. Against federal troops to the 
South; for armed self-defense by the 
Negro people. It is clear that the Amer- 
ican ruling class is incapable of carry- 
ing out the demands of the black people 
of the South. Only organized armed 
self-defense by the Negro people can 
stop the wanton murdering by Klans- 
men and racist cops in the South and 
in the urban ghettoes. 

4. For critical support to the SWP's 
DeBerry - Shaw electoral campaign. 
Even though the 1964 election is over, 
the principle of non-sectarian support 
to candidates with a working-class plat- 
form, independent of the Democratic 
or Republican Parties still stands. 

5. For YPSL disaffiliation from the 
Socialist Party — Social Democratic 
Federation. (ASOC, of course, did 
break from the SP-SDF although in a 
maneuverist way, using an organiza- 
tional technicality.) In the struggle 
against counter-revolutionary Stalin- 
ism, the equally important struggle 
against the reformist social-democracy 
must never be neglected. 

It was on the basis of agreement with 
these five points that the YPSL Revo- 
lutionary Tendency and Spartacist 
achieved unity in 1964. ■ 



(The following is reprinted from a coU 
vmn in the Baltimore Evening Sun of 
21 July 1965.) 

The town socialist, A. Robert Kauf- 
man, who was removed from the po- 
dium by police at the request of city 
councilmen at the earnings tax hear- 
ing, has recently switched his allegi- 
ance on the Far Left from the Socialist 
Workers party to the Spartacists. He 
says the latter splinter group is "more 

Anti-Vietnam War 
Mr. Kaufman impressed the council- 
men as irrelevant when he took time 
earmarked for the local tax proposal 
testimony and used it, in part, to de- 
nounce the United States role in Viet- 

The Spartacists, who bear the name 
of the German Communists who fought 
Nazis in the streets in the 1930's, favor 
a complete United States withdrawal 
from Vietnam and oppose any negotia- 
tion of the war there. 

Recent Local Growth 

According to the paper, "a number 
of applications" for membership were 
"recently received from the Baltimore 
area" at Spartacist headquarters in 
New York. The outfit wants the South 
Vietnam government to lose, but a cor- 
respondent in the Spartacist paper also 
denounces the North Vietnam Commu- 
nist government as "Stalinist. . . . neu- 
tralist . , . democratic and middle 

Abandons SWF 

The Socialist Workers party that Mr. 
Kaufman has abandoned has also been 
classified as Trotskyist, and it also 
visualizes itself in the vanguard. But 
it has never called the North Vietnam 
Communists "middle class." It has 
never forthrightly denounced Commu- 
nist Cuba for anything. 

The Spartacists Mr. Kaufman now 
joins appear to be way, way out (with 
a second headquarters in Berkeley, 
Cal., where the riotous college students 
are). Whither the Far Left? The old 
Socialist party, or democratic social- 
ists, are passive and no longer make 
much^ pretense of being in the van- 
guard. The old orthodox Communists 
appear to be considerably less militant 
than the Spartacists. 

How many "Stalinist" Communists 
have caused the City Council to call 
the police lately? ■ 



Defeat for 
World Trotskyism 

It is a bitter irony that the News- 
letter (organ of the British Socialist 
Labour League) headlined its article on 
the April Conference of the Interna- 
tional Committee "Rebuilding the 
Fourth InternationaL" The signal ac- 
complishment of the conference: the 
Voix Ouvriere (a French Trotskyist 
group previously unconnected to either 
the I.e. or the United Secretariat) was 
driven away and Spartacist expelled. 
Thus the Fourth International was 

The break with Spartacist was ac- 
complished over a transparent organi- 
zational pretext. Spartacist editor 
James Robertson, a delegate to the 
conference, excused himself from one 
afternoon session, and refused later to 
"confess" that his absence v/as either 
a violation of principle or the expres- 
sion of "petty-bourgeois American 
chauvinism." His failure to make the 
"proper apology" was deemed a depar- 
ture from democratic centralism. It 
was grotesque that an international 
split should be precipitated by an unde- 
clared rule on attendance which was 
applied only to the Spartacist delega- 
tion; so grotesque, in fact, that no sec- 
tion of the I.e. has yet found the cour- 
age to make this fact public. 

On the contrary, the American Com- 
mittee for the Fourth International, 
which had formerly proclaimed itself 
ardent advocate of unity, has suddenly 
"discovered" that the positions of Spar- 
tacist are incompatible with participa^ 
tion in the I.C., fabricating a smoke- 
screen of political accusations in the 
ACFI Bulletin of 9 May 1966, to ex- 
plain the unexpected break. 

A Critical Review 

Since all supporters of a principled 
unification among revolutionary Trot- 
skyists must be surprised and confused 
at this about-face, it is necessary to 
review critically the political contribu- 
tions and events at the London Con- 
ference, in order to determine what 
precipitated the split. 

The major report of the conference 
was given by Cliff Slaughter, secretary 
of the I.e., on "Rebuilding the Fourth 
International," the international reso- 
lution before the Conference. Incor- 
porated in the summary by Slaughter 
was a Vehement attack on the political 
activity and character of Spartacist 

and a special attack upon Robertson, 
as noted above. While our delegation 
voted in support of the resolution, 
they perforce abstained on the vote on 
the Slaughter report. 

Where We Stand 

Spartacist came to the conference 
because we were in basic political 
agreement with the main positions pub- 
lished by the International Committee. 
We remain in basic political agreement 
with the I.e. Resolution, despite par- 
. ticular exceptions. 

Comrade Slaughter characterized the 
present objective context as one of 
"deepening crisis of imperialism," es- 
pecially since 1956. He saw the work- 
ing class as both increasingly restive 
the world over and rapidly exposing 
and rejecting the traditional labor bu- 
reaucracies. He described the rise of 
Pabloite revisionism as the reflection 
of conscious effort by the bourgeoisie 
to disorient and bridle the vanguard of 
the working class. Nevertheless, he de- 
clared, Pabloism has now been defeated 
decisively, and the struggle for leader- 
ship of the working class is the imme- 
diate task. The superiority of the I.C., 
he asserted, lies in its understanding of 
"Leninist methods of party-building 
and in Marxist theory." 

The V.O. group stated a counter po- 
sition that Pabloism has been the reflex 
of the petty-bourgeois composition of 
the Fourth International since World 
War IL 

On the third morning of the Con- 
ference, Comrade Robertson's turn on 
the speakers' list was reached. He ex- 
pressed Spartacist's fundamental agree- 
ment with the line of the International 
Resolution and of the report, but he 
took the opportunity to make clear cer- 
tain differences. (His remarks are 
printed in this issue, below.) Comrade 
Robertson then missed the session 
which followed the delivery of his re- 
marks. Although three members of the 
Spartacist delegation were in attend- 
ance at the session, fully empowered to 
take part in the discussion, this ab- 
sence by Comrade Robertson was made 
the excuse for a violent attack upon 
our organization. 

Spartacist Expelled 
During the session missed by Robert- 
son, Michael Banda of the SLL chose 

as his comment on the Slaughter re- 
port a sharp political attack upon 
Spartacist's positions. In the evening 
session which followed organizational 
issues of "indiscipline" were raised. 

Attacks upon Spartacist continued 
for a twenty-four hour period during 
which the Healy group tried to crfeate 
some political pretext for the expul- 
sion. Finding none, they were left with 
the original shabby organizational pre- 

It should be noted that Robertson 
had informed Comrade Healy (Nation- 
al Secretary of the SLL of his in- 
tended absence, and that furthermore 
upon returning to the conference he 
explained to the assembled delegates 
that he had known of no rule demand- 
ing his attendance, that he had had no 
intention of not following protocol and 
would certainly adhere to all rules in 
the future. 

ACFI's Feeble Effort 
What was the reason for this vehe- 
ment assault? The Bulletin makes a 
feeble effort to provide some motiva- 
tion. Thus: "Robertson stated that he 
was in general agreement with the re- 
port (of Cliff Slaughter) but showed 
that he had no understanding and in 
, reality no agreement with its funda- 
mental method and line." 

In evidence for this fantastic inter- 
pretation, the Bulletin points to Spar- 
tacist's evaluation of the short-run 
stabilization of capitalism in the co- 
lonial world after the recent defeats 
sustained by the working class in the 
backward nations. Because Robertson 
has noted this temporary set-back for 
working-class forces, he is blind to the 
"unity of the crisis." If by unity of 
the crisis it is meant that despite in- 
terim advances the capitalist class can- 
not resolve or suppress the contradic- 
tions in society, then Spartacist vigor- 
ously concurs. But if the Bulletin and 
the I.C:, whose line it represents, de- 
sires to translate every defeat into a 
victory, to treat the crushing reversal, 
say, in Indonesia, as a new, higher 
stage in the struggle for socialism, 
that is another matter: so the Comin- 
tern in 1933 viewed Hitler's rise to 
power as the springboard for the pro- 
letarian revolution. The revolutionary 
conviction of Spartacist is based, not 
on euphoric optimism, but on confidence 


— 7 

in the workins;' class with the leader- 
ship of a revolutionary vanguard party 
to become conscious of its mission to 
liberate society from the stranglehold 
of capital. 

Negro Question 

In a similar vein, the Bulletin ar- 
ticle suggests that Spartacist's special 
approach to the Negro question dis- 
parages the white working class. This 
is especially dishonest of our ACFI 
comrades since it is they who went 
along with the SWP abdication to 
Black Nationalism in 1963. Spartacist 
comrades, then known within the SWP 
as the Revolutionary Tendency, voted 
for a revolutionary integrationist coun- 
ter-resolution and have maintained a 
consistent position since then on the 
need for a class rather than national 
analysis of the Negro question. 

To be fair, ACFI has since modified 
its line on this question, publishing in 
its Bulletin a revised position which 
characterizes the Negro people as a 
people-class, in analogy to A. Leon's 
characterization of the Jewish people 
as a people-class. Sti-angely, the ACFI 
delegation in London remained silent 
while Spartacist was denounced by 
Greek and French delegates for having 
an ACFI-like people-class line on the 
Negro question. 

Why this sudden switch in line , by 
ACFI, this insensitivity to the special 
position of Negroes in the U.S.? Be- 
cause ACFI, like puppets on a string, 
must now view American questions in 
British terms. 

Propaganda OR Agitation? 

With "inexorable logic," the Bulletin 
article plods to the inevitable conclu- 
sion: Spartacist is only a propaganda 
group, incapable of fusing theory with 
action. Yet Tim Wohlforth, the uneasy 
ACFI leader, missed his signals and 
submitted to the London Conference a 
revealing document, "Some Comments 
on Perspectives for the Fused Move- 
ment," which concluded: "The Sparta- 
cist comrades, -while insisting on a 
propugandistic course, have done ynore 
to break out of an exclusive propagan- 
distic existence than we have." While 
Spartacist comrades have been arrest- 
ed some twenty times over the past 
three years as a result of our active 
participation in the civil-rights move- 
ment, we have yet to hear of one single 
ACFI member facing similar persecu- 
tion! This striking difference reveals 
the truth. 

The final argument, all others fail- 
ing, is that Robertson "did not agree 
that the I.C. and only the I.C. repre- 
sents the continuity of the movement." 
If the Spartacist comrades did not be- 
lieve that the I.C. was a political heir 
of Trotskyism, why have they sought 
unity within a disciplined Internation- 
al? The Bulletin intends something 
more: servile subordination is de- 

No Bolshevik Discipline! 

Most ironical: the I.C. is not an In- 
ternational: it has no discii)line, at 
least not for the privileged British*- and 
French sections. The I.C. has instead 
accepted the position that "The only 
method of arriving at decisions that 
remains possible at present is the prin- 
ciple of unanimity." Yet it demands 
complete, unquestioning "discipline" 
from its sympathizers, even on the 
level of organizational trivia. Our 
friends in ACFI recently refused de- 
bate with us without first "clearing it." 

For Robertson to have "apologized" 
in London would have meant that 
Spartacist would have accepted ACFI's 
puppet role in the international move- 
ment. This kind of subordination is po- 
litical suicide. 

It remains to answer why the Healy 
group in the I.C. chose to wreck the 
immediate prospects for rebuilding the 
Fourth International by driving out 
the V.O. group and expelling Sparta- 
cist. In the light of this how shall we 
evaluate the revolutionary potential of 

REMARKS made during the dis- 
cussion of Cliff Slaughter's Po- 
litical Report at the International 
Committee Conference by Com- 
rade Robertson on 6 April 1966 
on behalf of^ the Spartacist dele- 
gation (with minor editorial cor- 

In behalf of the Spartacist group, I 
greet this Conference called by the In- 
ternational Committee. This is the first 
intei'national participation by our ten- 
dency; we are deeply appreciative of 
the opportunity to hear and exchange 
views with comrades of the world 

Therefore, we feel we have the re- 
sponsibility to present to you our spe- 
cific views where they are both rele- 
vant and distinctive, without adapting 
or modifying them for the sake of a 
false unanimity which would do us all 
a disservice, since we have, in our opin- 
ion, some valuable insights to offer. 

We are present at this Conference 
on the basis of our fundamental agree- 
ment with the International Resolution 
of the I.e.; moreover, the report of 
Comrade Slaughter was for us solidly 
communist, unified throughout by rev- 
olutionary determination. 

1. What Pabloism Is 

The central point of the Conference 
is 'The Reconstruction of the Fourth 
International, destroyed by Pabloism." 

the Socialiyt, Laliour League despite its 
obvious aehit'VfnH'nta? 

Behind the Split 

In one sense, the remarks of Com- 
rade Robertson did bring on the split. 
Clearly, the I.C. felt unable to tolerate 
a disciplined hut vigorous and inde- 
pendent tendency within its ranks. This 
is the organizational reality behind the 
expulsion, behind the lies and distor- 
tions in the Bulletin. But what, in turn, 
is the political explanation for the 
monolithic bureaucratism of the I.C. 
and esi)ecially of its chief section, the 
SLL of Britain? 

Rigid bureaucracy in a workers' 
movement always reveals fundamental 
lack of confidence in party members 
and ultimately in the revolutionary ca- 
pacity of the working class. The Healy 
group has demonstrated a fundamental 
incapacity to build a world revolution- 
ary movement. It is up to Spartacist 
along with other sections of the Inter- 
national Committee to construct a lead- 
ership to that end. ■ 

Therefore the issue, "What is Pablo- 
ism?" has properly been heavily dis- 
cussed. We disagree that Pabloism is 
but the expression of organic currents 
of reformism and Stalinism, having no 
roots within our movement. We also 
disagree with Voix Ouvriere's view 
that Pabloism can be explained simply 
by reference to the petty-bourgeois 
social composition of the F.I., any more 
than one could explain the specific na- 
ture of a disease by reference solely to 
the weakened body in which particular 
microbes had settled. 

Pabloism is a revisionist answer to 
new problems posed by the post-iy43 
Stalinist expansions. And Pabloism has 
been opposed within the movement by 
a bad "orthodoxy" represented until 
the last few years by the example of 
Cannon. We must answer new chal- 
lenges in a truly orthodox fashion: as 
Gramsci put it, we must develop Marx- 
ist doctrine through its own extension, 
not by seeking eclectic absorption of 
new alien elements, as Pabloism has 

The pressure which produced Pablo- 
ism began in 1943, following the fail- 
ure of Leon Trotsky's perspective of 
the break-up of the Soviet bureauc- 
racy and of new October revolutions 
in the aftermath of the war: this fail- 
ure resulted from the inability to forge 
revolutionary parties. After 1950, Pab- 
loism dominated the F.I.; only when 
(Continued on Page 12) 

Spartacist Statement to 
International Conference 


. . . BATTLE 

(Continued from Page 1) 
tant bombast from Peking, the diplo- 
matically-isolated, politically-crisis-rid- 
den Chinese regime has demonstrated 
in the cases of Algeria and Indonesia 
that it will frequently betray revolu- 
tionary principles in favor of the most 
opportunistic diplomatic maneuvers 
with counterrevolutionary regime",. As 
for the intended victim, the politically- 
amorphous, peasant-based South Viet- 
namese National Liberation Front has 
the same fundamental weaknesses that 
led to the betrayal and defeat of so 
many similar movements in other coun- 

Such a turn in Imperialist Vietnam- 
ese policy is made possible by the 
present wave of counterrevolution 
throughout the semi-colonial world. 
However, whether the U.S. will actu- 
ally be able to reap the fruits of that 
tactical advantage in Vietnam and else- 
where depends on the objective condi- 
tions tending to bring forth fresh rev- 
olutionary struggles and on the quali- 
ties of leadership provided for new 
revolutionary forces. An effective inter- 
national revolutionary movement can, 
during an upsurge, upset any betrayals 
being engineered in the embassies. 

Not Stable 

The objective conditions for new rev- 
olutionary upsurges exist throughout 
the semi-colonial world in general. 
U.S. Imperialism has thus far failed 
to solve the underlying economic causes 
for the state of more or less perpetual 
social crisis in those regions. Nor are 
Imperialism's immediate prospects for 
changing that particularly sound: the 
presently deteriorating balance of pay- 
ments problems of the U.S. and Britain 
are only exemplary of the conditions 
in the home countries of Imperialism 
which militate against subsidies in 
the quantity and kind required to re- 
verse the spiraling economic decline 
of Latin America, Africa and Asia. 
Thus, the immediate strategic peispec- 
tive is for new revolutionary ferment 
in major sectors of the colonial world, 
coupled with a rise in preconditions 
for parallel ferment in even the ad- 
vanced countries. 

Now, but for the small pro-Trotskyist 
MR-13 movement in tiny Guatemala, 
there is virtually no even semi-qualified 
revolutionary leadership in any colo- 
nial or semi-colonial country where 
ferment is occurring or apparently im- 
minent. Movements without a qualified 
and selected leadership will mainly be 
crushed by imperialist intervention and 
counterrevolution. How to remedy this 
is the key question. The strategic out- 
looks of Imperialism and Socialism, re- 
spectively, in Southeast Asia and else- 
where depend on the question of a 
qualified revolutionary leadership. 

It is to this end that the revolution- 
aries must immediately draw the les- 
sons of Indonesia and the recent Tri- 
continental Conference at Havana. 

Qualified Leadership 

To prevent the defeat and betrayal 
of revolutions, the leadership must be 
Marxist. Only a leadership schooled in 
Marxist economics can master the tech- 
nical problems of seizing and holding 
state power, can avoid turning the 
revolutionary state into an instrument 
for greater national and international 
economic bungling — as the Castio lead- 
ership has bungled. In a colonial or 
semi-colonial country, even a socialist 
revolution can be only a kind of "hold- 
ing-operation," economically, and its 
leadership must negotiate the treach- 
erous waters of world trade and fi- 
nance with scientific precision. A lead- 
ership which might attempt to build 
"socialism in one country" must floun- 
der from crisis to crisis. The economic 
blunders inherent in a non-Marxist or 
pseudo-Marxist regime can only con- 
tribute to the greater misery and de- 
moralization of its people, while giving 
the possibly decisive tactical advantag- 
es to the imperialist enemy. 

Such a party must be a party of the 
working-class. While the initiating 
cadres of a Leninist party are invar- 
iably recruited from the revolutionary 
intelligentsia, this intelligentsia be- 
comes the active leadership of the 
working-class and politically thereby a 
part of the class. Every other class, 
including the peasantry, is by its na- 
ture inclined toward capitalist ideol- 
ogy, and tends to represent a pro- 
capitalist, if temporarily anti-impe- 
rialist, force during and — especially — 
after the struggle for national "liber- 

It is a party which constantly strug- 
gles to gain every material advantage, 
including the control of the decisive 
armed force, for the workers. It is a 
revolutionary leadeiship in the way in 
which it prepares for and carries out 
the tasks of insurrection: not to dis- 
pose its forces for cbmbat premature- 
ly, thus giving the enemy a tactical ad- 
vantage, nor to let the moment for 
insurrection slip by without the rapid 
concentration of the revolutionary for- 
ces for a decisive blow against all of 
the institutions and power held by the 

It is a party which prepares for 
victory through a struggle for the 
ideological hegemony of Marxism over 
the workers and their allies, by con- 
fronting anti-Marxism and exposing 
"fake Marxism" in all facets of the 
struggle for the supremacy of ideas. 

Ticsson of Indonesia 

The slaughter of hundreds of thou- 
sands of communists by the Indonesian 
counterrevolutionaries is a three-fold 
indictment of the Chinese leadership 

and world Maoism. Since the Indone- 
sian CP was under the hegemony of 
Peking, the crushing defeat of that 
party, unarmed and not organized to 
materially defend itself against Su- 
harto's butchers, is the most devastat- 
ing proof of the incompetence of Mao 
& Company. Secondly, out of Peking 
Review's ov.'n mouth, we learn that the 
Peking leadership subordinated the 
lives of Indonesian communists to op- 
portunistic diplomatic maneuvering 
with the butchers. Thirdly, the bun- 
gling and betrayal of the Indonesian 
revolution by Mao and by the Maoist 
Aidit leadership of the Indonesian CP 
is the natural outcome of the political 
program and perspectives of world 

The Maoist program today is a mod- 
ern version of the line of the 1917 
Russian Mensheviks: "Russia is not 
yet ripe for the socialist revolution; 
we must first support the victory of 
thje capitalist revolution in backward 
countries." This was also the view sup- 
ported by certain "Old Bolsheviks," 
including Stalin, until Lenin beat them 
into line with his famous "April The- 
ses." After Lenin's death, Stalin res- 
urrected this social-democratic line and 
used his authority in the Comintern 
to impose it upon the Chinese CP. So, 
under the direction of Stalin, the Chi- 
nese CP subordinated itself to the 
Chiang Kai Chek machine both organi- 
zationally and ideologically. The result 
was the slaughter of the Chinese com- 
munists and the workers' vanguard by 
the military arm of Chiang Kai Chek's 
• So, the Stalinist, Mao, continuing 
the role of his great teacher, subordin- 
ated the revolutionary interests of the 
Indonesian people to the diplomatic 
maneuvers of China with Sukarno — 
and Suharto. So, the Indonesian CP, 
under Mao's tutelage, followed a course 
which was a suicidal replica of the 
policy which led to the slaughter of 
Chinese Communists during 1925-27. 
The Indonesian CP subordinated itself 
organizationally and ideologically to 
Sukarno's equivalent of the Kuomin- 
tang, the "Nasakom" movement; the 
main cadres of the Indonesian CP were 
butchered by the military arm of Su- 
karno's Nasakom-"intang." 

The "fake Marxist" Indonesian Mao- 
ists not only failed to physically arm 
the communist forces in that country, 
but are even more fundamentally 
guilty by virtue of their refusal to 
arm the revolutionary forces ideolog- 
ically. In a country in which the strug- 
gle for hegemony of Marxist ideas has 
been effectively conducted, at the mo- 
ment of crisis the great mass Of class 
forces and their allies, including those 
in the army, come over to the revolu- 
tionary side with their weapons in 
hand. The Indonesian CP betrayed the 
revolution in its own country by sub- 
ordinating itself and its supporters to 


Sukarno's Nasakom ideology. In this 
way the Maoists strengthened the hege- 
mony of anti-Marxist ruling ideas over 
those same students and soldiers who, 
in the moment of crisis, butchered pro- 
communist men, women and children 

Peking's Guilt 

Lest there be any doubt concerning 
Peking's implication in that defeat and 
slaughter. No amount of zeal by the 
most ardent pro-Maoist can produce a 
single word of political analysis of this 
defeat from a published Pekins^- source! 
For over six months — from the October 
butchery until its 29 April issue — 
Peking Review had much space to give 
to such profound Indonesian matters 
as the theft of a plaque from Chinese 
embassy property, but not. a ivord on 
the hundreds of thousands of commu- 
nist corpses choking Indonesia's rivers. 
As Renmin Ribao (organ of the Mao 
regime) claimed in its 30 March edi- 
torial, "Up till today, the Chinese press 
has not even published a single com- 
mentary on the change in the situation 

in Indonesia in recent months." Why 
this suppression of the news by the 
Chinese press? Renmin Ribao is quite 
explicit: in the interests of maintain- 
ing meticulously correct diplomatic re- 
lations with the Indonesian butchers! 
This criminal suppression of the truth 
by Peking demonstrates that it, like 
Moscow, will in the last analysis be- 
tray a revolution in the interests of 
diplomatic maneuvering with a coun- 
terrevolutionary regime. 

This confirms Trotsky's analysis of 
the political character of "communist" 
petty-bourgeois-led peasant levolution- 
ary parties. When Preobrazhensky, in 
the late Twenties, raised the proposi- 
tion that it might be possible for such 
a party to seize state power, Trotsky 
replied, "Suppose it suddenly does? A 
Chinese communist who reasons along 
such a prescription would cut the 
throat of the Chinese Revolution." 

Exceptional Circumstances 

But, the Maoists sagely protest, the 

CPC did take state power. In the 

"Transitional Program," drafted by 

BUT SIR, wouldn't you rather use rubber soles?" 

Trotsky and adopted by the 1938 
Founding Conference of the Fourth 
International, one finds: ". . . one can- 
not categorically deny in advance the 
theoretical possibility that under the 
influence of completely exceptional cir- 
cumstances (war, defeat, financial 
crash, mass revolutionary pressure, 
etc.) the petty-bourgeois parties in- 
cluding the Stalinists may go further 
than they themselves wish along the 
road to a break with the bourgeoisie. 
. . ." The victory of the peasant CPC 
in the late Forties did occur along just 
these lines — over the objections of 
Stalin! — : "under the influence of com- 
pletely exceptional circumstances," 
such as war, financial crash, mass rev- 
olutionary pressures, etc., and the con- 
junctural inability of the U.S. to inter- 
vene directly and massively in behalf 
of puppet Chiang. It was similar with 
Castro, who, "under the influence of 
completely exceptional circumstances," 
was impelled to violate every article 
of his original capitalist parliamentar- 
ian commitments of January, 1959, to 
make a break with U.S. Imperialism 
and his own national bourgeoisie, and 
to orient to the Soviet economy and 
military-political bloc. 

Granted, comrade Maoist, under 
these exceptional circumstances, Mao- 
ism or Castroism (another variant of 
Maoism) produced more or less stable 
regimes modeled on that of the Soviet 
bureaucrats. Is it then your "revolu- 
tionary" policy to build parties and 
programs which can lead to nothing 
but butchery of the revolutionary 
forces in all but completely exceptional 

That, in eff'ect, has been the history 
of attempts to make revolutions ac- 
cording to the "peasant model." The 
"Castro prescription" in Latin America 
has sent uncounted bands of devoted 
revolutionary youth out of the cities, 
generally to be easily and soon slaught- 
ered by the imperialist-supported mil- 
itia. Maoism, which operates on a much 
lai'ger scale than Castroism, displays 
its outcome by choking the rivers of 
Indonesia with communist corpses. The 
revolutionary who reasons along the 
prescription of the possible victory of 
Maoism or Castroism under completely 
exceptional circumstances thus cuts the 
throat of the revolution — as Trotsky 

Outcome of Castroism 
All of the principles of Leninism 
were betrayed at the recent Tri-Con- 
tinental Conference at Havana, at 
which Castro objectively strengthaned 
the hegemony of bourgeois forces in 
Latin America. In his infamous ad- 
dress at that conference, Castro at- 
tacked the Guatemalan revolutionary 
movement, MR-13, demanding that 
MR-13's leader. Yon Sosa, abandon the 
proletarian revolution in favor of the 
(Continued Next Page) 

10 — 


. . . BATTLE 

orsanization and program of that Sta- 
linist renegade, Major Turcios. In sup- 
porting Turcios, guerrilla leader of the 
Moscow-oriented Guatemalan CP, Cas- 
tro in practice demanded the liquida- 
tion of potentially Leninist movements 
in Latin America in favor of absolute 
subservience to the dictates of Moscow- 
Havana, and in favor of a program 
which has for the past seven years 
produced the repeated slaughter and 
defeat of young revolutionary cadres 
throughout that part of the Hemis- 

What do Castro's lofty expressions 
of fervor for the revolution-in-general 
mean in practice? In practice, every 
delegate who left that conference in 
support of its resolutions went to his 
home country as an avowed enemy of 
the only potentially viable revolution- 
ary leadership and program in Latin 
America. In practice, Castro's role was 
that of a betrayer of the socialist rev- 

Overcome Maoism! 

In Vietnam, the task of defeating 
U.S. invaders and frustrating Stalinist 
conference-table sell-outs takes these 

The present strikes and demonstra- 
tions against the Ky regime under — 
unfortunately! — the hegemony of the 
Buddhists expose the fundamental flaw 
in the program of the National Libera- 
tion Front. The revolutionary tactic in 
that country must be the insurrection 
— the simultaneous armed uprising of 
armed workers in the cities together 
with coordinated assaults in the coun- 
tryside, in a single effort to destroy 
all the apparatus of the puppet regime 
and cripple the materiel pipelines of the 
Imperialist forces. In the jrrescnt situ- 
ation, a strike wave which could he the 
decisive blow of the Vietnamese social- 
ist revolution has been abandoned by 
the communists and consigned to the 
use of the Buddhists. The Buddhist 
leaders, unless the communists inter- 
vene to prevent this, will attempt to 
use the power of the strike to bring 
down the Ky regime in favor of a 
Buddhist-dominated coalition equiva- 
lent to the Kuomingtang or Nasakom. 
By abandoning the working-class 
struggle, by relegating it to> the ideo- 
logical and organizational hegemony of 
the militant Buddhist leaders, the NLF 
has strengthened the possibilities of a 
successful counterrevolution after & 
"democratic national liberation" gov- 
ernment has been established. Despite 
all those qualities in which the NLF 
has distinguished itself most favorably 
from the Indonesian Maoists, the NLF 
still demonstrates those same funda- 
mental political weaknesses which led 
to the victory of the counterrevolution 
in Indonesia. 

Therefoie, the immediate task in 
Vietnam itself is the formation of an 
independent underground Leninist par- 
ty which intervenes organizationally 
and programmatically in the present 
anti-imperialist struggles of workers 
and students in the cities. While this 
party must not isolate itself by sec- 
tarianism — it must give even the Bud- 
dhist leaders critical support under 
certain conditions — absolutely no ideo- 
logical or programmatic concessions 
must be made to Buddhism, bourgeois 
ideology or Stalinism. The party must 
link with the militant students, with 
nationalist militant sentiments in the 
South Vietnamese armed forces; it 
must make a programmatic link with 
the NLF; maximum tactical flexibility 
to advance the interests of the strug- 
gle, but not a single concession in prin- 
ciples or ideology. This party must win 
the workers, students and peasants 

On Thursday, May 19, at one p.m., 
well over a hundred students of Brook- 
lyn College settled in the lobby of 
Boylan H^ll to protest the college ad- 
ministration's cooperation with the 
Selective Service System. Several hun- 
dred students participated in the sit-in 
during some part of the next 24 hours. 
This enthusiastic demonstration was 
far and away the most successful in 
recent years. Sit-ins do not, of course, 
produce a "responsible image"; but, in 
the fight against war, it is necessary 
to do away with comfortable images in 
favor of understanding the reality, and 
our responsibility is only to our con- 

"Compromise" Petition Circulated 

During the sit-in a petition to Fac- 
ulty Council was circulated. This peti- 
tion focussed exclusively on the sub- 
mission of class standings to the SSS. 
This petition cx/jlicitli/ affirmed its in- 
terest in the smooth operation of the 
draft system "for the sake of the na- 

away from the "fake Marxist," non- 
Marxist and anti-Marxist nationalist 
leaders in prejiaration for the Viet- 
namese "October Revolution" and a 
workers and peasants government. 

This struggle must have the full, 
active support of the international rev- 
olutionary movement. In the course of 
this internationalists must, of course, 
defend the Stalinists and Buddhist mil- 
itants against imperialism, but under 
no circumstances must this defense 
conceal the fact that the Buddhist 
leadership (like the Indonesian Mos- 
lems) would be a party to the slaugh- 
ter of the communists tomorrow, with 
Stalinism serving as the gravedigger. 
We ourselves would betray the Viet- 
namese people if we misled them or 
revolutionaries anywhere on the na- 
ture of Stalinism and other forms of 
petty-bourgeois nationalist leaderships. 
■ L.M. 

tional interest"! It voiced absolutely 
no opposition to the war in Vietnam. 
Nothing could be more misleading than 
to confine attention to the tertiary is- 
sue of classroom competition, while 
ignoring the fundamental questions be- 
hind the draft. Nevertheless, many 
participants in the demonstration were 
misled and lent their signatures to the 

There is, however, another, more ba- 
sic reality which most of the demon- 
strators at B.C. have not yet clearly 
understood. The (J.S. intervention in 
Vietnam is not an accident or a mis- 
take; on the contrary, it is the essen- 
tial response of capitalism to social 
revolution anywhere in the world. 

In the last analysis, trying to end the 
war in Vietnam without ending the so- 
cial system which produced it is like 
trying to fight the draft without open- 
ly opposing the war which is its cause. 
The responsibility of students is to 
probe and expose the fundamental na- 
ture of society. Ii 


write to : Juez Primero do Distrito 

Mexican Embassy en Materia Penal 

2829 N.W. 16th Street or Eduardo Ferrer McGregor 
Washington, D.C. Bucareli 24 

Mexico D.F. Mexico 


write to: 

Guatemalan Embassy 
2220 R. Street, N.W. 
Washington, D.C. 

Brooklyn College Sit-in 




From Centrism to Reformism 

At least forty-six people have left 
the Socialist Workers Party as a result 
of expressed political differences since 
its September 1965 convention. The 
Party has continued in its headlong 
flight from revolutionary politics. In 
the anti-war movement, the major 
arena of its recent activity, the SWP 
has played a treacherous role. Al- 
though raising the supportable slogan 
"Bring the Boys Home Now," the SWP 
at the same time demands that the 
anti-war movement confine itself to a 
classless "single issue" program. 

The SWP has abandoned class- 
struggle politics for liberal illusions: 
if only enough people shout loudly 
enough surely Johnson must stop the 
war. They reason: since every voice 
counts regardless of the politics, let's 
not be too controversial. Thus to the 
swamp of popular-front politics. 

Spartacist Line Change 

• The Spartacist can no longer seek to 
reenter the SWP as it has now become. 
The SWP is guilty of complicity in the 
betrayal of the Ceylonese woi'king class 
by the Lanka Samajasts in 1965. De- 
spite Fidel Castro's best anti-Trotsky- 
ist efforts, the SWP still clings to him 
in desperation, in fact printing his re- 
cent May Day speech in the Militant 
without comment. The internal regime 
of the Party precludes open factional 
struggle. Above all, we could not ac- 
cept the role of a disciplined minority 
within the ranks of a party committed 
to the betrayal of the anti-war strug- 
gle. To do so would be to betray our 
own revolutionary politics. 

The entire Seattle branches of the 
SWP and YSA and the Philips ten- 
dency have left the SWP in the recent 
period in protest against the unprin- 
cipled politics followed by the Party. 
While we have differed with these 
groups in the past we look forward to 
a fruitful collaboration in joint work 
over the coming period. The Seattle 
comrades have oriented towards a pro- 
Maoist grouping within the SWP; the 
Philips tendency has had an evolution 
different from ours. Therefore the task 
for the next period is also to clarify 
and discuss our differences so that we 
can seek to build a genuinely revolu- 
tionary Trotskyist party in this coun- 

The following excerpted statements 
are representative of those who have 
recently broken with the SWP. 
▲ ▼ 

A Revolutionary Perspective for the 
Anti-War Movement by Lawrence 
Shumm and Clara Kaye of Seattle 
"At the Washington Convention the 

delegation from the South proposed 

that the movement raise the two fun- 
damental and interconnected demands 
Freedom Now and WitJidraw Now. 
This dramatic historical linking of the 
struggle against war with the struggle 
against racism was an expression of 
the general feeling of the delegates 
there, that the war in Vietnam is inti- 
mately linked up with the other social 
injustices of our society: racial dis- 
crimination;, poverty, exploitation, grow- 
ing totalitarianism, intolerance and the 
overpowering pressure to conform in 
every social sphere. The significance of 
this feeling is that what is required of 
us is that we aspire to a new social 
order where the urge to capital invest- 
ment and profit at the expense of hu- 
manity is no longer the overwhelming 
and completely dominant force of 

"To those who believe that this end 
can be aided by political action in and 
around the Democratic or Republican 
parties we point to the decades (and 
now nearly centuries) of subservience 
of these two twin agencies of reaction 
to the capitalist class, and to the fact, 
that the basic role that pacifist liberals 
and radical social workers have played 
in their participation in these parties 
has been to provide humanitarian win- 
dow-dressings for war, racism, the de- 
struction of civil liberties, and the 
preparation for Fascism in the U.S." 
^ ^ 

Memorandum on Their Expulsion from 
the SWP by the ^Philips Tendency 

"And yet it was precisely the expelled 
comrades of the Minority who were 
and remain the only ones in Detroit to 
raise the question of Viet Nam in their 
unions; — not only to raise it, but to 
raise it effectively because they do par- 
ticipate in the daily struggles of the 
rank and file. Ironically, at the very 
same time as they were being inst/uct- 
ed to be 'political,' they were accused 
by the Majority of 'smuggling in' the 
Minority line in the very attempt to in- 
volve their unions in the struggle 
against the war. Our orientation, we 
were informed with all due solemnity, 
is to the campus, and it is confusing 
and disorienting to try to inject the 
labor movement. 

"It is the quickly developing crisis 
around Viet Nam, and the rapid evo- 
lution of the anti-war movement which 
has shown clearly and concretely just 
how far the SWP has drifted from its 
proletarian Trotskyist heritage. Never 
has a President of the U.S. put the re- 
lationship between foreign and domes- 
tic policy more crudely than Johnson 
in his recent proclamation that hence- 
forth all program* designed to help 
the working class, the poor, and the 

aged in this country would have to be 
curtailed because of the costs of the 
war in Viet Nam. 

"In the tradition of the Trotskyist 
movement, not only would we long ago 
have warned of this development, but 
we would have been the only group to 
have utilized our understanding of the 
objective laws of capitalism to help di- 
rect the anti-war movement onto the 
class struggle road to the fight against 
war. We would have been the ones to 
insist that the only chance for the 
struggle to succeed would be if it were 
capable of enlisting the interest and 
the active support of the working class 
and the Negro people." 

Resignation by Four Supporters of 
Spartacist: Rose J., Stan L., Marion S., 
and later supported by Jeremy C. 

"Most of us have been members of 
the Party for many years, and it is 
with great reluctance that we come to 
the conclusion that we can no longer 
maintain that membership. Neverthe- 
less, we conclude that the urgent task 
of building a revolutionary movement 
in this country is best served by our 
full and formal participation with our 
former comrades now in the Spartacist 
organization and in political solidarity 
with the forces of the I.C. abroad." 

Application for Membership in 
Spartacist by Shelly Welton 

"In January 1965 I resigned from 
the Socialist Workers Party for per- 
sonal reasons. . . . After the N.Y. Fifth 
Ave. Peace Parade Committee meet- 
ing, with the SWP capitulation and ac- 
commodation to the pacifist-liberal 
wing with the one slogan, 'Stop the 
War in Vietnam Now,' I became aware 
of Spartacist's coriect position on with- 
drawal of support and marched with 
them under their slogans. These in- 
cluded: 'Unconditional Withdrawal of 
All American Troops' and 'Vietnam, 
Watts: It's the Same Struggle!' 

"The SWP-YSA splitting activity in 
Washington was the point of repudiat- 
ing my sympathy for the SWP. I be- 
gan studying the SWP internal docu- 
ments of 1963 and the criticisms of 
the then Robertson minority. I sought 
for an understanding to the SWP de- 
generation. As I learned what 'Pablo- 
ite revisionism' is the picture became 
clear. The SWP has lost its working 
class revolutionary perspective and 
now depends on other {petty-bourgeois) 
forces. Thus, its uncritical support to 
Castro, Malcolm X, and Ben Bella. 

"I appeal to the ranks in the SWP 
and YSA to examine their consciences 
(Continued Bottom Next Page) 

12 — 



(Continued from Page 7) 

the fruits of Pabloism were clear did 
a section of the F.I. pull back. In our 
opinion, the "orthodox" movement has 
still to face up to the new theoretical 
problems which rendered it susceptible 
to Pabloism in 1943-50 and gave rise 
to a ragged, partial split in 1952-54. 

Inevitable Struggle 

The fight against Pabloism is the 
specific historic form of a necessarily- 
continual struggle against revisionism, 
which cannot be "finally" resolved 
within the framework of capitalism. 
Bernstein, Bukharin, and Pablo, for ex- 
ample, have been our antagonists in 
particular phases of this struggle, 
which is both necessary and inevitable, 
and cannot be "solved." 

These are some of our views about 
Pabloism; they are not exhaustive, for 
they are shaped by the particular as- 
pects of Pabloism which have loomed 
large in our own struggle against it. 

We take issue with the notion that 
the present crisis of capitalism is so 
sharp and deep that Trotskyist revi- 
sionism is needed to tame the workers, 
in a way comparable to the degenera- 
tion of the Second and Third Interna- 
tionals. Such an erroneous estimation 
would have as its point of departure 
an enormous overestimation of our 
present significance, and would accord- 
ingly be disorienting. 

We had better concentrate upon what 
Lenin said concerning the various, ubi- 
quitous crises which beset imperialism 
(a system essentially in crisis since be- 
fore 1914); Lenin pointed out that 
there is no impossible situation for the 
bourgeoisie, it is necessary to throw 
them out. Otherwise, "crises" are all 
in a day's work for the mechanisms 
and agencies of imperialism in mud- 
dling through from one year to the 
next. Just now, in fact, their task is 
easier, after the terrible shattering of 
the Indonesian workers' movement; 
add to this the other reversals which 
expose the revisionists' dependence 
on petty-bourgeois and bureaucratic 
strata, like the softening of the USSR, 
the isolation of China, India brought 
to heel, Africa neatly stabilized, and 
Castro a captive of Russia and the U.S. 

. . . SWP 

and their revolutionary convictions. In 
the name of Revolutionary Socialism 
get out of your complacency and study 
the history of the Trotskyist move- 
ment! Recognize the Pabloist course 
taken by the SWP and the 'United 
Secretariat!' We must build a revolu- 
tionary party in the U.S., a party 
basing itself on the independent work- 
ing-class struggle and guided by the 
'Transitional Program' of the Fourth 
International!" ■ 

The central lesson of these episodes is 
the necessity to build revolutionary 
working-class parties, i.e., our ability 
to intervene in struggle. 

2. Anti-Pabloist Tactics 

A French comrade put it well: 
"there is no family of Trotskyism." 
There is only the correct program of 
revolutionary Marxism, which is not 
an umbrella. Nevertheless, there are 
now four organized international cur- 
rents all claiming to be Trotskyist, and 
spoken of as "Trotskyist" in some con- 
ventional sense. This state of affairs 
must be resolved through splits and 
fusions. The reason for the present 
appearance of a "family" is that each 
of the four tendencies — "United Secre- 
tariat," Pablo's personal "Revolution- 
ary Marxist Tendency," Posadas' 
"Fourth International," and the Inter- 
national Committee — is in some coun- 
tries the sole organized group of claim- 
ing the banner of Trotskyism. Hence, 
they draw in all would-be Trotskyists 
in their areas and suppress polariza- 
tion; there is no struggle and differen- 
tiation, winning over some and driving 
others to vacate their pretense as revo- 
lutionists and Trotskyists. Thus, when 
several Spartacist comrades visited 
Cuba, we found that the Trotskyist 
group there, part of the Posadas inter- 
national, were in the main excellent 
comrades struggling Avith valor under 
difficult conditions. The speeches here 
of the Danish and Ceylonese comrades, 
representing left-wing sections of the 
United Secretariat, reflect such prob- 

The partial break-up and gross ex- 
posure of the United Secretariat for- 
ces — the expulsion of Pablo, the Cey- 
lonese betrayal, the SWP's class-col- 
laborationist line on the Vietnamese 
war, Mandel's crawling before the Bel- 
gian Social-Democratic heritage — prove 
that the time has passed when the 
struggle against Pabloism could be 
waged on an international plane within 
a common organizational framework. 
And the particular experience of our 
groups in the United States, which 
were expelled merely for the views 
they held, with no right of appeal, dem- 
onstrates that the United Secretariat 
lies when it claims Trotskyist all-in- 

We Must Do Better 
Up to now, we have not done very 
well, in our opinion, in smashing the 
Pabloites; the impact of events alone, 
no matter how favorable objectively or 
devastating to revisionist doctrines, 
will not do the job. In the U.S., the 
break-up of the SWP left wing over its 
five-year history has been a great gift 
to the revisionist leadership of the 

At present, our struggle with the 
Pabloites must be preponderantly from 
outside their organizations; neverthe- 
less, in many countries a period of 

united fronts and organizational pene- 
tration into revisionist groupings re- 
mains necessary in order to consum- 
mate the struggle for the actual recon- 
struction of the F.I., culminating in a 
world congress to re-found it. 

3. Theoretical Clarification 

The experiences of the Algerian and 
Cuban struggles, each from its own 
side, are very important for the light 
they shed on the decisive distinction 
between the winning of national inde- 
pendence on a bourgeois basis, and 
revolutions of the Chinese sort, which 
lead to a real break from capitalism, 
yet confined within the limits of a bu- 
reaucratic ruling stratum. 

Two decisive elements have been 
common to the whole series of upheav- 
als under Stalinist-type leaderships, as 
in Yugoslavia, China, Cuba, Vietnam: 
1) a civil war of the peasant-guerrilla 
variety, which first wrenches the peas- 
ant movement from the immediate con- 
trol of imperialism and substitutes a 
petty-bourgeois leadership; and then, 
if victorious, seizes the urban centers 
and on its own momentum smashes 
capitalist property relations, national- 
izing industry under the newly consoli- 
dating Bonapartist leadership; 2) the 
absence of the working class as a 
contender for social power, in particu- 
lar, the absence of its revolutionary 
vanguard: this permits an exceptional- 
ly independent role for the petty-bour- 
geois sections of society which are 
thus denied the polarization which oc- 
curred in the October Revolution, in 
which the most militant petty-bour- 
geois sections were drawn into the 
wake of the revolutionary working 

Political Revolution 

However it is apparent that supple- 
mental political revolution is necessary 
to open the road to. socialist develop- 
ment, or, in the earlier stages, as in 
Vietnam today, the active intervention 
of the working class to take hegemony 
of the national-social struggle. Only 
those such as the Pabloists who believe 
that (at least some) Stalinist bureau- 
cracies (e.g., Yugoslavia or China or 
Cuba) can be a revolutionary socialist 
leadership need see in this understand- 
ing a denial of the proletarian basis 
for social revolution. 

On the contrary, precisely, the petty- 
bourgeois peasantry under the most 
favorable historic circumstances con- 
ceivable could achieve no third road, 
neither capitalist, nor working class. 
Instead all that has come out of China 
and Cuba was a state of the same or- 
der as that issuing out of the political 
counter-revolution of Stalin in the So- 
viet Union, the degeneration of the 
October. That Is why we are led to de- 
fine states such as these as deformed 
workers states. And the experience 
since the Second World War, properly 
understood, offers not a basis for re- 


— 13 

visioiiibt turning away from the per- 
spective and necessity of revolutionary 
working-class power, but rather it is a 
great vindication of Marxian theory 
and conclusions under new and not pre- 
viously expected circumstances. 

Weakness and Confusion 

Many statements and positions of 
the I.e. show theoretical weakness or 
confusion on this question. Thus, the 
I.e. Statement on the fall of Ben Bella 

"Where the state takes a bona- 
partist form on behalf of a weak 
bourgeoisie, as in Algeria or Cuba, 
then the type of 'revolt' occurring 
on June 19-20 in Algiers is on the 
agenda." — Ncivsletter, 26 June 

While the nationalization in Algeria 
now amounts to some 15 per cent of 
the economy, the Cuban economy is, in 
essence, entirely nationalized; China 
probably has more vestiges of its bour- 
geoisie. If the Cuban bourgeoisie is in- 
deed "weak," as the I.C. affirms, one 
can only observe that it must be tired 
from its long swim to Miami, Florida. 

The current I.C. resolution, "Rebuild- 
ing ,the Fourth International," how- 
ever, puts the matter very well: 

"In the same way, the Interna- 
tional and its parties are the key 
to the problem of the class strug- 
gle in the colonial countries. The 
petty-bourgeois nationalist leaders 
and their Stalinist collaborators 
restrict the struggle to the level of 
national liberation, or, at best, to 
a version of 'socialism in one coun- 
try,' sustained by subordination to 
the co-existence policies of the So- 
viet bureaucracy. In this way, all 
the gains of the struggle of the 
workers and peasants, not only in 
the Arab world, India, South East 
Asia, etc., but also in China and 
Cuba [our emphasis: SpartacistQ, 
are confined within the limits of 
imperialist domination, or exposed 
to counter-revolution (the line-up 
against China, the Cuban missiles 
crisis, the Vietnam war, etc.)." 
Here Cuba is plainly equated with Chi- 
na, not with Algeria. 

The document offered by the French 
section of the I.C. several years ago on 
the Cuban revolution suffers, in our 
view, from one central weakness. It 
sees the Cuban revolution as analogous 
to the Spanish experience of the 1930's. 
This analogy is not merely defective: 
it emphasizes precisely what is not 
common to the struggles in Spain and 
in Cuba, that is, the bona fide workers' 
revolution in Spain which was smashed 
by the Stalinists. 

Overcoming Bad Method 

The Pabloites have been strength- 
ened against us, in our opinion, by this 
simplistic reflex of the I.C, which must 
deny the possibility of a social trans- 
formation led by the petty-bourgeoisie, 

in order to defend the validity and ne- 
cessity of the revolutionary Marxist 
movement. This is a bad method: at 
bottom, it equates the deformed work- 
ers' state with the road to socialism; 
it is the Pabloite error turned inside 
out, and a profound denial of the Trot- 
skyist understanding that the bureau- 
cratic ruling caste is an obstacle which 
must be overthrown by the workers if 
they are to move forward. 

The theoretical analysis of Sparta- 
cist concerning the backward portions 
of the world strengthens, in our esti- 
mation, the programmatic positions 
which we hold in common with the 
comrades of the I.C. internationally. 

4. Building U.S. Section 

The principal aspect of our task 
which may be obscure to foreign com- 
rades is the unique and critically and 
immediately important Negro question. 
Without a correct approach to the Ne- 
gro young militants and workers we 
will be unable to translate into Ameri- 
can conditions the rooting of our sec- 
tion among the masses. 

We have fought hard to acquire a 
theoretical insight in the course of our 
struggle in the SWP against Black Na- 
tionalist schemes which disintegrate a 
revolutionary perspective — defending 
the position that the Negroes in the 
U.S. are an oppressed color-caste con- 
centrated in the main in the working 
class as a super-exploited layer. And 
we have acquired a considerable experi- 
ence for our small numbers and despite 
a composition which is still only about 
10 per cent black. We have a nucleus in 
Harlem, New York City. We inter- 
vened in several ways, in the Black 
Ghetto outbursts over the summers of 
1964 and 65, acquiring valuable experi- 

[The balance of the remarks was 
not WT^itten out before delivery; it 
is given as reconstructed from the 
rough notes. The issue of propa- 
ganda and agitation was not sig- 
nificantly gone into in the report, 
but is in the Spartacist draft docu- 
ment on tasks assembled the night 
before the oral report was given, 
hence the relevant section of that 
draft is also quoted below.] 
Our draft resolution before you 
states regarding our Southern work 
that, "Perhaps our most impressive 
achievement to date has been the build- 
ing of several SL organizing commit- 
tees in the deep South, including New 
Orleans. This is a modest enough step 
in absolute terms and gives us no more 
than a springboard for systematic 
work. What is impressive is that no 
other organization claiming to be revo- 
lutionary has any base at all in the 
deep South today." 

Black and White 

The race question in the U.S. is dif- 
ferent from that in England. In fact it 
is part way between the situation in 

England and that in South Africa. 
Thus some 2 jxr cent of the British 
population is coloured; in South Africa 
over 2/3rds of the people are black. In 
the U.S. if some 20 per cent of the 
population is Negro and Spanish- 
speaking, then within the working class, 
given the ovei-whelming concentration 
of whites in the upper classes, the 
others comprise something like 25 or 
30 per cent. What this means is that 
in England the intensity of exploita- 
tion is spread unevenly, but rather 
smoothly throughout an essentially 
homogenous working class. At the 
other extreme in South Africa, the 
white workers with ten times the in- 
come of the black, live in good part 
themselves off the blacks, thus impos- 
ing an almost insuperable barrier to 
common class actions (witness the Eu- 
ropean and Moslem workers' relations 
in Algeria). In the U.S. the qualita- 
tively heavier burden within the class 
is borne by the black workers. In quies- 
cent times they tend to be divided from 
the white workers as in the lower lev- 
els of class struggle such as are now 
prevalent. Therefore the black youth in 
America are the only counterparts to- 
day to the sort of militant white work- 
ing class youth found in the British 
Young Socialists. 

Uniting the Class 

However, we are well aware that at 
a certain point in the class struggle the 
main detachments of the workers, as 
such, i.e., black and white in common 
class organizations such as trade un- 
ions, become heavily involved. Every 
strike shows this. In preparation for 
the massive class struggles ahead we 
have begun to build fractions in cer- 
tain accessible key sections of the work- 
ing class. But today the winning over 
of young black militants is the short 
cut to acquiring proletarian cadres as 
well; virtually all such militants are 
part of the working class. 

Finally, we know that under the spe- 
cific conditions in the U.S. to build a 
.genuinely revolutionary party will re- 
quire the involvement in its ranks and 
leadership of a large proportion, per- 
haps a majority, of the most exploited 
and oppressed, the black workers. 

A Fighting Propaganda Group 

The Spartacist draft theses state: 
"The tactical aim of the SL in the next 
period is to build a sufficiently large 
propaganda group capable of agita- 
tional intervention in every social 
struggle in the U.S. as a necessary 
step in the building of the revolution- 
ary party. For this intervention we 
seek an increase in our forces to at 
least tenfold. From our small force of 
around 100 we move toward our goal in 
three parallel lines of activity: splits 
and fusions with other groups, direct 
involvement in mass struggle, and the 
strengthening and education of our or- 
ganization." ■ 

74 — 



(Continued from Page 16) 
by N.Y. nurses is merely the latest ex- 
ample of this trend. The striking Chi- 
cago welfare union was directly in- 
spired and aided in o ganization by the 

Our rulers' problem became even 
more urgent when the 13-day strike by 
the New York Transit Workers Union 
in January demonstrated the enormous 
power of some sections of government 
employees, and of the working class as 
a whole. Though not in the immediate 
offing, the spectre was posed of a 
powerful alliance of all governmental 
workers and the identification of a 
huge stratum of white collar workers, 
usually considered "middle class," with 
the organized labor movement and the 
working class. 

Economic Squeeze 

Concern evoked by such a potential 
development is only to a lesser extent 
due to the precarious condition of most 
state and city budgets. More basic is 
the fear of democratic unionism and 
militant strikes spreading to all sec- 
tions of the working class in a period 
when workers are experiencing the 
effects of rapid increases in the cost of 
living — a period when the government, 
due to the inflationary pressures of the 
Vietnamese war and the general con- 
tradictions of capitalism, must hold 
the line on wages and living conditions 
— a period when technological advance- 
ment and severe unemployment among 
some sections of workers demand an 
all-out struggle to cut the hours of 
work while maintaining and increas- 
ing wages. 

The need for the capitalist class as 
a whole to curb inflation and head off 
labor struggles at this time is clearly 
expressed by Gardner Ackley who pre- 
sented the position of the Federal Gov- 
ernment, that "Executive Committee 
of the Ruling Class," to the annual 
meeting of the U.S. Chamber of Com- 
merce. Ackley, chairman of the Presi- 
dent's Coulicil of Economic Advisors, 
pointed out profits have increased 88 per 
cent since 1961 and "substantially ex- 
ceed the rise in employee compensation 
over that period." He went on to state, 
"In March the weekly spendable in- 
come of the average manufacturing 
worker with three dependents — meas- 


Cuba and Marxist Theory 

selected documents on 
the Cuban Question 
35^ a copy 

order from Spartacist 

Box 1377, G.P.O. 
New York, N.Y. 10001 

■ ^ 

ured in constant prices — was not high- 
er than a year earlier, though he was 
working someivhat Longer hours. Does 
anyone imagine that labor will con- 
tinue to show moderation in its irage 
demands when prices and profit mar- 
gins are covtiimally rising?" (Neiv 
York Times, 3 May). Two days later 
(New York Times, 5 May) President 
Johnson in his address to the Advisory 
Council on Labor-Management called 
maintenance of economic stability "the 
crucial domestic issue of the day," and 
despite the enormous increases in prof- 
its and prices labelled wage increases 
over the past year "disquieting." He 
called for a strict adherence to the 3.2 
per cent guideline on wages. 

It is for these reasons that the rul- 
ing class desires to put a halt to the 
spread of militant unionism within a 
new section of the working class. 

Life-or-Death Threat 

The test of a leadership is its re- 
sponse to crises — those brief periods in 
which some fundamental issue is posed 
and then resolved one way or the 
other. The way in which it is resolved 
establishes the framework of reality 
for the whole forthcoming period. Tri- 
partite is such an issue. If it is de- 
feated by the militant struggle of 
workers, not only can the SSEU mem- 
bership look forward to many positive 
gains but the memberships of other 
City unions will also be benefitted, 
unionism among government workers 
will continue to expand, and rich op- 
portunities will develop for the forma- 
tion of a powerful, inclusive alliance 
of government unions. If on the other 
hand Tri-Partite goes through without 
serious struggle, the SSEU would be 
shown to be weak, unorganized, apa- 
thetic, and with a gutless leadership. 
And the SSEU would be burdened with 
harsh penalties should it attempt to 
strike and have already lost the right 
to bargain in most major areas. Under 
these conditions its membership would 
dwindle away. Further expansion of 
militant unionism among public em- 
ployees will be retarded, and the de- 
velopment of an inclusive alliance of 
government unions will have been re- 
moved from the agenda for the coming 
period. It is in this context that the 
SSEU leadership must be judged. 

The possibly life-or-death threat 
posed by Tri-Partite found the SSEU 
in a state of membership apathy and 
in an initial position of isolation from 
the rest of the labor movement, in- 
tensified by the fact that Local 371, 
representing welfare supervisors and 
clerks and an affiliate of DC 37, was 
endorsing Tri-Partite. The fundamen- 
tal tasks faced by the leadership, then, 
were the overcoming of this isolation 
and the rallying of the membership. 

The initial response was good; a 
small but highly militant demonstra- 

tion outside the American Arbitration 

Association was mobilized on short no- 
tice, and an emergency meeting of the 
Executive Board voted unanimously to 
recommend a strike should Lindsay at- 
tempt to implement the Agreement. An 
issue of the SSEU News was gotten 
out in which the first sentence of the 
lead article quoted delegate Marty 
Morgenstern: "It's a question of stop- 
ping this thing or being in so much 
trouble we might not aurvive it" — an 
indication that the extent of the threat 
posed by Tri-Partite had been correct- 
ly assessed. Following these steps, 
however, the leadership more or less 
fell apart as they awaited the return 
of Judith Mage, the SSEU's president 
and dominant figure, from her vaca- 
tion in the Virgili Islands. 

Mrs. Mage Returns 
Upon her return Mrs. Mage quickly 
took charge of the situation. The task 
of rallying the membership for what- 
ever action might be necessary to pre- 
serve the union was judged too diffi- 
cult; and besides all-out struggle might 
alienate the supervisors the SSEU is 
hoping to recruit, or repel the new, 
liberal, welfare commissioner with 
whom Mrs. Mage feels it possible to 
establish a relationship of mutual 
understanding and cooperation. At a 
policy-setting talk at one of the cen- 
ters shortly after her return, Mrs. 
Mage presented a new assessment of 
Tri-Partite: "/ have heard it said that 
if Tri-Partite goes through, the SSEU 
is finished. Even if this does go 
through, tvith every provision, it would 
not mean the destruction of the SSEU. 
What it would mean is that we would 
have to fight all over' again on things 
we thought we had won. . . . You 
should not feel it will mean our de- 
struction." The threat to the power of 
the union through curtailment of the 
right to strike was not mentioned (and 
remains strangely absent from leaf- 
lets and subsequent issues of the union 
paper — a tacit indication of the leader- 
ship's willingness to go along with 
this and, worse, an indication that a 
strike will not be considered should the 
SSEU's contract demands be rejected 
this fall). Instead the worst feature of 
Tri-Partite was presented as the limi- 
tation' on areas of bargaining, inter- 
preted primarily as an attack on "pro- 
fessionalism" which Mrs. Mage has 
decided is the major concern of wel- 
fare' supervisors. She overlooks the 
fact that the question of which areas 
are bargainable is beside the point if 
the union's ultimate weapon and 
power, the right to strike, is so fraught 
with penalties that to exercise it would 
permit the legal destruction of the 

All-Out Struggle? 
Given this new assessment an all-out 
struggle against Tri-Partite becomes 


— 15 

unnecessary. Mrs. Ma^e referred to 
the strike unanimously recommended 
by the Executive Board should Tri- 
Paitite be implanted, as a mere threat 
to fool the City: "This is ovUj a type 
of propagaiulu we use — the Citii reads 
our leaflets." She went on to say, "Of 
course ive 7»i(/ht fake on action that 
the City rvoiild call a striJxe but we 
ivoiildn't." A demonstration at City 
Hail might be called for which work- 
ers would request vacation leave. .Since 
Department regulations prohibit more 
than 25 p^r cent of employees taking 
such leave at any one time, exceeding' 
this limit might be labelled a strike. 
However, Mrs. Mage hastily assured 
those present that at most this would 
mean no more than the loss of a day's 

The SSEU, then, has adopted a 
cot\rse of only limited struggle, within 
the context that Tri-Partite will not 
mean the destruction of the union, and, 
though undesiiable, is therefore ulti- 
mately tolerable. Hence it has decided 
to forego the real mobilization of the 
membership that is necessary to defeat 

Union Alliance Formed 
Only in one area had the leadership 
responded correctly. The initial isola- 
tion of the SSEU from the rest of the 
labor movement has been partially 
breached by the formation of the Com- 
mittee for Collective Baigaining, a 
loose alliance against Tri-Partite of 
unions representing some .30,000 city 
workers; it is this Committee that has 
called the City Hall demonstration on 
1 June to oppose the City Council ac- 
tion to partially implement Tri-Partite. 
Though the alliance has not yet been 
consolidated, and no really powerful 
union has as yet joined, nevertheless it 
offers an enormous promise and poten- 
tial. The basis on which the beginnings 
of the realization of this promise and 
potential can take place will be the 
successful cairying out of the City 
Hall demonstration, which, since the 
membership of the SSEU, ti. ■ most 
significant union involved, is being 'eft 
to mobilize itself, is not yet assui-ed. 
Thus the shortcomings of the SSEU 
leadership may be reflected even on 
this correct step that it has under- 

"Helping the Mayor" 

One other tactic of the SSEU leader- 
ship toward Tri-Partite deserves spe- 
cial comment as it reveals a potential 
of the leadership to sell out the SSEU 
membership. This is particularly re- 
vealed by the counter-document being 
proposed by the SSEU as a substitute 
for Tri-Partite, an attempt by the 
union to advise its employer on how to 
conduct its labor relations — in the in- 
terests of the employer! The drafter 
of the counter-proposal, vice-president 
Bart Cohen (who incidentally is lead- 

ing the attempt to return the new wel- 
fare union to the red-baiting tactics 
that led to the destruction of indepen- 
dent unionism and the installation of 
a company union in Welfare during 
the witch hunt) states: ^'Tlie fiivda- 
mcvtal opposition to the Mayor's hill is 
that it cannot lead to the peaceful res- 
olution of labor disputes. On the con- 
trary it is a mandate for strikes, for, 
labor uniest and chaos" (SSEU News, 
27 May). The counter-proposal is to 
play a "positive" role in helping the 
City solve its labor problems: "The 
Committee's substitute proposal will 
show the Council that unions are con- 
cerned about the labor problems faced 
by the City, ovd that the attack on 
Tri-Partite is not based on negative 
and obstructionist motives." 

We ask Mr. Cohen: when has the City 
shown itself to be particularly con- 
cerned about "peaceful" settlements? 
The Welfare and Transit strikes are 
cases in point. Will Mr. Cohen's next 
step be to suggest that City workers 
take voluntary cuts in pay out of con- 
cern for the City's financial problems? 

Most SSEU members are not only 
unfamiliar with the provisions of the 
document drafted by Mr. Cohen, now 
basic SSEU policy, but are unaware 
even of its existence. It was passed at 
a membership meeting of only 75 peo- 
ple, and these 75 only saw the long 
and involved document for the first 
time on the evening it was presented 
for endorsement. It should be under- 
stood that this document, proposed by 
the SSEU as a City Law, if enacted 
rather than Tri-Partite would itself be 
an enormous step back for City un- 
ions! It voluntarily offers concessions 
that would tie the hands of labor, such 
as compulsory arbitration of griev- 
ances. And it, like Tri-Partite, outlines 
a whole system of "independent" ar- 
bitration bodies to arrive at decisions 
in place of the struggle between work- 
ers and boss. However, lucky as City 
workers are that this proposal stands 
no chance of enactment, the primary 
task remains the defeat of Tri-Partite. 


First and a fundamental 
coercive effort by the ruling class, such 
as Tri-Partite is, will only be defeated 
by the mass mobilization of the union 
membership, prepared to take what- 
ever steps are called for to save the 
union. The SSEU leadership must 
make the membership aware of this, 
and aware of the fact that mass inter- 
vention alone will be decisive. But 
proper analysis and the putting forth 
of the correct and necessary program 
of action are not enough. "The organ- 
izing to carry through this action must 
be carried out. This organization must 
be Center-by-Center and unit-by-unit 
in order that the entire membership 
be readied for action. The membership 

must not only be kept fully informed, 
but must be brought in as paiticipants 
in decision-making. This means fre- 
quent meetings in local Centers with 
ample time for discussion. 

Unite ALL Welfare Employees 

The presently narrow base of the 
SSEU must be extended throughout 
welfare, not only to the supervisors 
but to the clerks as well. "Profession- 
alism" must" be seen as a phony issue 
which can only alienate the clerks and 
perpetuate division aipong welfare em- 
ployees. The call must not be for "One 
Professional Union in Welfare" but 
for "One Militant Union in Welfare." 
The decisive question for the super- 
visors is not "professionalism" but 
whether or not the SSEU can pro- 
duce as a union. Recruitment of the 
supervisors depends in good part on 
the defeat of Tri-Partite. 

Organize Welfare Recipients 

The SSEU must orient toward ac- 
tive intervention to organize clients 
and toward the labor movement for 
real strength, not toward the weak- 
ness of a professional society. The 
SSEU leadership's talk of "profes-" encourages the elitist atti- 
tudes of many SSEU members who 
attach enormous importance to the fact 
that they have college educations and 
to the differences between themselves 
and other sections of the labor move- 
ment. This encourages all sorts of 
weakening divisions (e.g. Mrs. Mage's 
remark: '^The other unions affected 
don't have the concern we do since they 
are not professional unions. We care 
[about Tri-Partite] because ive have a 
professional ethic and a professional 
interest in the standards of service 
offered clients, and therefore we want 
a say in job content.") 

Deepen Labor Ties 

The SSEU must instead develop an 
alliance with clients and ties with 
other sections of the labor movement, 
beginning especially with other public 
employee unions. The stait already 
made toward bringing in other unions 
must be expanded and stiengthened 
especially by the bringing in of such 
powerful "non-professional" unions as 
the Transit and Sanitation workers. 
The spectre so feared at this time by 
the ruling class must be materialized 
and turned against them. As a first 
step toward this, the City Hall dem- 
onstration must be a success. Labor 
can never afford to tie its hands with 
no-strike clauses, "impartial" arbitra- 
tion, reliance on phony fact-finding 
boards, third-party intervention; nor 
can it give up its right to negotiate 
grievances, which are basic to the en- 
forcement of a contract. Tri-Partite, 
the first step of the campaign to smash 
militant civil service unionism, must 
be stopped now. ■ 

16 — 



Jri-Partite" Agreement: 

Public Workers Fight 
No-Strike Scheme 

New York: The recently proposed 
"Tri-Partite" Agreement — the three 
parts being- the City, Labor, and "the 
Public" — is intended as the first step 
in a carefully calculated campaign by 
the capitalist class to smash the mili- 
tant unionism that has been on the rise 
among municipal and state employees 
across the country. The provisions of 
this agreement, expected to be enacted 
shortly by Mayor's Executive Order 
and a City Council Local Law, would 
apply not only to signatory unions but 
to all unions of City employees saving- 
only the powerful Teachers' and Tran- 
sit unions (and Lindsay oj)enly ex- 
presses his intention to extend it to 
them at a later date). However, de- 
spite its all-inclusive nature, the real 
target at present is the Social Service 
Emi)loyees Union (SSEU), the most 
significant and militant of the affected 
unions. If this union, which led a suc- 
cessful month-long strike against the 
City a year and a-half ago, can be 
crushed through the technique of Tri- 
Partite, then a model will have been 

yr- V, 

Spartaclst Local Directory 

AUSTIN. Box 8165, Univ Sta., Austin, Texas 

78712. phone: GR 2-3716. 

BALTIMORE. Box 1345, Main P.O., Baltimore, 

Md. 21203. phone: LA 3-3703. 

COIUMBUS. Box 3142, Univ. Sta., Columbus, 
Ohio 43210. phone: 291-8650. 

HARTFORD. Box 57, Blue Hill Sta., Hartford, 

Conn. 06112. phon: 52S-1257. 

ITHACA. Box 442, Ithaca, N.Y. 14851. pho 

lOS ANGELES. Box 4054. Term. Annex, Los Angele 

Calif. 90054. phone: 783-4793. 

NEW ORLEANS.. Box 8121, Gentilly Sta., New Or- 
leans, La. 70122. phone: WH 4-1510. 

NEW YORK. Box 1377, G.P.O., New York City, N.Y. 
10001. phones: National Office— UN 6-3093; Up- 
town—UN 5-6670; Downtown- 477-2907. 

SAN FRANCISCO (contact Berkeley) 

SEATTLE (contact Berkeley) 

YOUNGSTOWN (contact New York) 

set for bringing- under control a whole 
section of the labor movement. 


The anti-labor tone of the document 
is set by the opening statement affirm- 
ing- the signers' "inidcrlying . . . coui- 
}nitmeiit to the philosophy uiid practice 
of the peace fal settlement of (lispiitcs 
in Older to prevoit strik-cs or other in- 
terruptioits of service." The heart of 
the Agreement is the provision for the 
insertion of no-strike clauses into all 
contracts, and other sections in effect 
eliminate the right to strike at any 
time. Standards for selection of em- 
ployees, the disciplining- of workers, 
and the right to lay off workers for 
lack of work or other "legitimate" 
reasons are temoved from the area of 
union concern and assigned to sole 
"management prerogative," as are job 
content and the "technology of work 
performance." In addition, the notori- 
ous sell-out union, District Council 37 
of AFSCME (American Federation of 
State, County and Municipal Employ- 
ees) would automatically become sole 
bargaining agent for all City employ- 
ees, regardless of their elected union, 
in such key areas as wage and salary 
structure, hours of work, and leave. 

The "justification" for this gross vio- 
lation of the most basic right of labor 
— the right of workers to representa- 
tion by organizations of their own 
choosing- — is that DC 37 holds bargain- 
ing rights for titles which include 51% 
of affected City workers — despite the 
fact that DC 37 has never actually 
organized more than a tiny fraction 
of these workers! 

Having thus been squeezed out of 
the central areas of bargaining, the 
other, elected, unions would then face 
a perspective of gradual, and eventu- 
ally destructive, loss of membership. 
The SSEU, given the very high rate of 
turn-over among Welfare case work- 
ers, could expect to be especially af- 
fected. Finally, should any disputes 
develop, the Agreement provides for 
various levels of "impartial" arbitra- 
tion bodies, and any union refusing to 
accept the decisions of the final Dis- 
pute Panel would be in a position to 
have its certification revoked. Given 
the fact that the whole framework in 
which disputes between the municipal 
employees and their employer, the City, 

take place is the boss's legal structure, 
Tri-Partite delivers the workers, all 
bound and ready for the slaughter, to 
their employer. And if Tri-Partite 
isn't enough, the ruling class through 
the infamous Rockefeller Report, is 
proposing to establish killing fines and 
other legal reprisals against any strik- 
ing union of public employees, appli- 
cable on a state-wide basis and includ- 
ing- Transit and Teachers. 

Public Workers' Militancy 

The just-concluded strike by Chicago 
welfare workers, under the leadership 
of the newly formed Independent Un- 
ion of Public Aid Employees points up 
clearly the problem faced by the ruling 
class which Tri-Partite and the Rocke- 
feller Report are attempts to solve. A 
large and rapidly increasing section 
of the American working class now 
falls in the area of municipal, state, 
or Federal employment. For years workers have either been unor- 
ganized or represented by docile un- 
ions. But the last few years have seen 
the organization of a number of new 
unions, usually of a. democratic and 
militant character, and the stirring to 
life again of unions which had suffered 
severe witch-hunt intimidation. One of 
the first to foim was the United Fed- 
eration of Teachers which led two one- 
day strikes in New York City. Shortly 
thereafter the newly-recognized SSEU 
led a successful 28-day strike by City 
welfare workers. These examples prov- 
ed contagious: there has been an un- 
precedented rash of teachers' strikes 
across the country — including in the 
Deep South — and the recent struggle 
(Continued on Page 14) 



Box 1377. G.P.O. 
New York. N. Y. 10001 

twelve issues — $1 
six issues — 50^ 


Address _ 


Labor Murder in San Francisco Page 8 






The widespread internal opposition to the United 
States government's war in Vietnam has proven a 
happy surprise to more than a few anti-war activists, 
,Not only have demonstrations against the war ]brought 
out thousands, but tens of thousands have recently 
cast their votes for pi'imary candidates who were 
critical of the Johnson administration, with several 
such candidates getting 45 per cent and more of the 
Democratic primary vote in Congressional elections in 
California and New York. What has impressed anti-war 
militants has not remained unnoticed by the left- 
Establishment political pros. Thus in the last few 
months the public has been treated to the truly obscene 
spectacle of Robert Kennedy, former counsel for the 
McCarthy committee, evolving with indecent haste into 
the very model of a modern labor liberal, complete with 
anti-war stance, trips to South Africa, and a visit to 
the Delano grape strikers. 

Mouldy Politics 

Although he is the most prominent of all the liberal 
Democrats who would like to capitalize on the, anti-war 
sentiment, Kennedy is not the only one. Various indi- 
viduals and groups whose political aim is to strengthen 
their position within the Democratic Party have formed 
an organization called the National Conference for New 
Politics. Far from being new, the politics are the same 
old mouldy politics of coalitionism, "realignment," etc. 
which have suffered a partial eclipse within the civil- 
rights and anti-war movements, and which are now 
being revived. The National Conference for New Poli- 
tics, in its own words, hopes to "bring together the 
liberals and the movement activists." Remember when 
"liberal" Governor Pat Brown was "brought together" 
with the "movement activists" of the Bei-keley Free 
Speech Movement last year, through the medium of 
"liberal" Brown's police? 

"New" Politics — Old Trap 

But the Democratic Party looks so bad at present 
that some political tendencies which would normally be 
a part of the Democratic Party, and which will in the 
future be a faction within this party, are now going 
to run "independently." The effect of such "indepen- 
dent" campaigns will be to try to head off the growing 
discontent with Johnson's party and to channel it into 
those courses where it will eventually support the 
political ambitions of certain liberal Democrats. The 
now defunct campaign of Ronnie Dugger in Texas and 

the projected campaign of Sy Cassady in California 
fall into this category. These "New Politics" are an 
old trap set for the anti-war movement. 

Not all of the independent campaigns have the per- 
nicious character of the preceding group. In several 
areas anti-war groups have decided to run independent 
candidates as part of an explicit attack on the Demo- 
cratic Party, recognizing that this party is the favored 
tool of those forces which are committed to maintaining 
American capitalist hegemony throughout the world. 

Oppose Ruling Class 

But independence from the two wai'-parties, desirable 
and elementary though it is, does not guarantee that a 
"peace campaign" will cease to spread the harmful 
illusions about this society that have allowed the Lyn- 
don Johnsons to monopolize its political processes. An 
inadequate analysis of the nature of this social system 
and the causes of its wars may lead to an "independent" 
campaign with a program that has fundamental flaws 
in its intended anti-war platform. In order to formu- 
late an effective program we must first have a clear 
conception of the structure of American society and a 
(Continued on Page 4) 


JAPANESE TROTSKYISTS were among thou^ 
sands of demonstrators protesting Vietnam war 
4 July 1966. The demonstration was sparked by 
Dean Rusk's arrival in Kyoto for discussions. 



A Bimonthly Organ of Revolutionary Marxism 

EDITOR: James Robertson 
Managing EDITOR: Helen Janacck 
West Coast EDITOR: GeofFrey White 

Subscription: 50< yearly. Bundle rates for 10 or more copies. 
Main address: Box 1377, G.P.O., New York, N. Y. 10001. Tele- 
phone: UN 6-3093. Western address: P.O. Box 852, Berkeley, Calif. 
94701. Telephone: TH 8-7369. ' 

Opinions expressed in signed articles do not necessarily repre- 
sent an editorial viewpoint. 

Number 7 oe Sept.-Oct. 1966 



All interested parties have now offered their versions 
and taken their stands on the April International Con- 
ference called by the International Committee of the 
Fourth Internutional. The Conference was marked by 
the driving away of the Voix Ouvriere comrades on the 
unique grounds that they would not have been invited 
had Healy known their positions, which had all been 
published months before the Conference, and by the 
nakedly trumped-up expulsion of the .Spartacist grouo. 

Healy's Neivsletter reported the Conference immedi- 
ately upon its conclusion, but said tiot a word about 
Spartacist and its expulsion, although the projected 
American unification between Spartacist and the Ameri- 
can Committee for the Fourth International had been 
one of the main aims set for the Conference. Although 
as a result of the Conference we were supposed to be 
forthwith "removed . . . from the path of the working 
class," Healy was apparently too embarrassed to take 
the initiative. 

Dirty Job 

Thus he took an oblique approach, leaving the dirty 
work to his hacks on ACFl's Bnlletiu, who finally pro- 
duced a scries of political misrepresentations, a hint 
about H c(j))fereMcc "cleavage" and no mention of the 
destruction of the projected American unification. When 
in reply Spartacist printed a full report of the Con- 
ference (see Spartacist, June-July 1966 issue), includ- 
ing our full political positions, as well as making pub- 
lic the orgatiizational pretext for the expulsion — the 
refusal of a Spartacist delegate to state that his com- 
ing late to a Conference session constituted an .admis- 
sion of the petty-bourgeois nature of his organization — 
the SLL leadership and its ACFI satellite were finally 
forced to deal with the actual events of the Conference. 

Three months after the Conference, two full pages 
were devoted to us in successive July issues of the 
Newsletter. C. Slaughter, a genuinely able Marxist, was 
given a dirty job which he tried valiently to cany out. 
But because Comrade Slaughter felt it necessary occa- 
sionally to quote from our remarks made to the Con- 
ference, as reprinted in our last issue, certain objective 
limits were placed on what are otherwise sti'aw men 
masquerading as owf positions. 

Any independent comparison of our positions with 
Slaughter's intentional misrepresentation of them 
makes it unnecessary for us to detail the many discrep- 
ancies. For example: our emphasis on the impoi-tnnce 
of black working-class youth in the U.S. is not a denial 
of the working class as a whole ; no more is our recog- 
nition of the generally propagandistic level of our work 
a denial of the agitational and class-struggle elements 
which are necessarily present but not dominant. For 
Slaughter to insist that the recognition of a certain 
primacy eliminates other aspects of a question is to be 
mechanistic, simplistic and anti-dialectical. Thi'ough 
such distortion Slaughter tries to obscure the collision 
between our actual views and the underlying sectarian 
and mechanical positions of the SLL. 

The SLL contends that the Fourth International has 
been rebuilt (or never needed rebuilding — they haven't 
yet worked out which) and that Pabloism has been 
smashed internationally, but in any case that the IC is 
the FI. The IC under Healy avoids the necessary step 
of seeking to promote splits and fusions among other 
self-styled Trotskyist groups, resorting instead to at- 
tempting to destroy the revolutionary integrity of any 
group which does not display an abject submissiveness 
to the SLL leadership, by forcing it to profess inde- 
fensible positions and thus discredit itself, or, failing 
that, to the tactic of outright misrepresentation and 

Slaughter i)retends to see some sort of unprincipled 
politics in our statement that the Cuban comrades of 
the Posadas tendency "were in the main excellent com- 
rades struggliiig with valor under difficult conditions." 
He replies that the jailed Posadists were released last 
year,'iiaving given the Cuban authorities a declaration 
that their opposition to the Ca.stro regime would cease. 
"Even Posadas himself denounced this declaration, but 
Robertson cannot mention it." In fact, Comrade Slaugh- 
ter very likely first read in Spartacist itself (Nov.- 
Dcc. 1965 issue) of the capitulation of some half-dozen 
of the 50-100 Cuban Posadists and of Posadas' repudi- 

Leninist l*olilics? 

But wretched and false though Slaughter's polemic 
is, at least it attacks some ideas and defends others. 
However, Healy's American altar boy, Wohlforth of 
ACFI, in rushing to get into the act, felt no such com- 
punction : no (luoting of one's opponent, no ideas to at- 
tack or defend, only calculated loyalty to Healy and 
simple hatred for Spartacist appear in the Bulletin. 

In "Spartacist and Leninist Politics, Part I, the In- 
ternational Movement," Wohlforth sidesteps the discus- 
sion of Conference events with the question: "We de- 
mand that Spartacist explain how 'bureaucratic central- 
ists' coulcJ build the healthiest revolutionary proletarian 
party in the world." Since the revolutionary capacity 
of the SLL is still to be proven and its recent actions 


cast serious doubts that it will be; since 
among British socialist groups its pro- 
letarian composition is hardly notable 
(the allegiance of radical unionists is 
still largely to the CP) ; since it is still 
far too small td proclaim itself a mass 
party — Wohlforth could be said to have 
pverloaded the question just a bit! His 
supplemental conclusion is that "hav- 
ing no politics himself, the Abernite 
[i.e., Robertson] is forced to adapt to 
alien political currents." Such "analy- 
sis" Hows from the psychological realm 
of pure projection; Wohlforth has al- 
ways followed persons rather than 
ideas, from right-wing conciliator 
Weiss all the way over to Healy, with 
lesser flirtations (e.g., Swabeck, Mage, 
Phillips, Marcus) in between. 

In "Part II, The Flight of the Middle 
Class Intellectual,"^ we find that Shane 
Mage plays the James Burnham to 
Robertson's Shachtman (what hap- 
pened to Robertson the Abernite is not 
clear). Wohlforth completes this pre- 
occupation in pereonality by predicat- 
ing his case on the assumption of Leon 
Trotsky's basic infallibility. However, 
Trotsky was not infallible (indeed, why 
should he be ? ) ; until the bloc with Zino- 
viev his course in the struggle against 
Stalinism was disoriented and unclear, 
but afterwards unswerving to the end. 
Trotsky himself recognized this when 
he wrote in 1985 that he had misjudged 
the whole point of the "Thermidorian" 

Wohlforth's own working relation- 
ship with Marcus illustrates his pre- 
occupation with personality.' For nine 
months he used Marcus as his chief 
theoretician and even stated on record 
that he was in 99 per cent agreement 
with Marcus (to which we replied that 
Wohlforth would find the remaining 1 
per cent awfully big). Marcus spent 
seven weeks with us, and ultimately 
found the atmosphei'e of Marxism far 
less congenial than that of ACFl. How- 
ever, we still defend, the most patient 
efforts to integrate talented intellectu- 
als into our own ranks. Wohlforth, who 
opportunistically accepted Mage and 
Marcus en bloc, not critically, as did 
Spartacist, will not force us with his 
gibes into a sectarian mold. 

l*abloists Protected 

The Conference had a recognized im- 
portance beyond the ranks of the 
groups present. ^ In particular, the 
"United Secretariat" tendency associat- 
ed witjh the American Socialist Work- 
ers Party had cause to fear a successful 
outcome to the Conference. Strong op- 
ponent sections in the U.S. and France 
and a functioning international center 
for the IC would have threatened them 
severely at a time in. which events in 
Algeria, Indonesia and. Cuba have been 
dealing hard blows to their revisionist 
illusions. Consequently the United Sec- 
retariat was delighted with the actual 
Conference outcome; the SWP has now 
brought out a pamphlet, "Healy 'Re- 

constructs' the Fourth International: 
Documents and Conunents by Partici- 
pants in a Fiasco, with a Preface by 
Joseph Hansen." By showing up Healy 
as a prime example of "sectarianism 
and tinpot despotism" the United Sec- 
cretariat protected its left flank just at 
the time that the Pabloists are politi- 
cally most vulnerable. 

As indicated, the pamphlet consists 
of a batch of documents, introduced by 
Hansen's lengthy, amusing and some- 
times accurate narrative of the Con- 
ference. Hansen describes the docu- 
ments as having Ijeen "received" by the 
SWP "by chance." (What a delicate 
way to describe the ajjpropriation of 
the documents by an alternate memljer 
of the SWP National Committee!) 
Hansen attempts to use the documents 
as the basis for an attack on all par- 

y \ 


The following are several para- 
graphs from the article by ClilY 
Slaughter, secretary of the Inter- 
national Committee. 
"Spartacist, in order to cloud over 
this political basis of the split, lies 
about the departure oi Robertson and 
his delegation." 
And : 

"Robertson was, of course, not asked 
to denounce himself as a petty-bour- 
geois, or anything of the sort. Such is 
not the politics of Bolshevik organiza- 

And finally: 

"His very rejection of this, his in- 
sistence on j)ersonal prestige ayaiiist 
this discipline, confirms our characteri- 
zation of this group as petty-bourgeois, 
dominated by the ideology of middle- 
class radical groups in American poli- 
tics, their ideology subordinated to the 
US monopolists and American excep- 

—from The Newsletter, 2 July 19GG 

\ f 

ticipants. However, all he is able to dig 
up about Spartacist is the old and dis- 
credited lie that our i)redecessor ten- 
denc-y was expelled from the SWP for 
"indiscipline." As for the Vmx Oiivrirrc 
group, he can do no more than charac- 
terize them as "wily politicians." Al- 
though we have substantial political 
diff'erences with VO, we believe that 
our groups could exist within the 
framework of a genuine democratic- 
centralist International. This conclu- 
sion is strengthened by the exemplary 
honesty and resi^onsibility that VO has 
shown in its dealings with the IC and 
with us, and the seriousness of its 
treatment of the main Confei ence docu- 
ments as well as its participation in the 
Conference itself. 

Monstrous Statement 

AVe waited with interest to see how 
Healy would react to the Hansen 
pamphlet; in the Newsletter of 20 Au- 
gust, the reaction came. The statement 
by the SLL Political Committee is mon- 

strous, showing that the SLL leader- 
shii), when trai)ped in a tight corner, 
will (1) slandci'ously accuse opi)onents 
and critics of being agents of the class 
enemy, "finger men for the State De- 
partment," (2) and tiiemselves threaten 
to use the capitalist police and courts to 
fight their political battles for them; 
". . . [the] pamphlet ... is legally 
libellous, we shall not hesitate to deal 
appropriately . . ." 

'The alleged liasis for the SLL's treat- 
Bient is that the pamphlet opens up 
"the Robertson group ant! the Wohl- 
forth group" for legal prosecution un- 
der the U.S. Voorhis Act. We for our 
part reject the SLL's solicitousiiess on 
oui- behalf. The Voorhis Act is a paper 
tiger — never used against anyone and 
patently unconstitutional. For the Jus- 
tice Dejjartment to start pi-ocecdings 
against a small group like ours or the 
smaller and much less threatening 
ACFl would make the government a 
laughing stock, and Healy knows this. 
He is aware that for years the SWP 
has hidden behind this very act to de- 
fend its own federalist idea of an In- 
ternational. He wrote contem))tuously 
of the United Secretariat (Newsletter, 
19 June 1965) when it refused on the 
basis of the Voorhis Act to heai- an ap- 
lieal from us against our expulsion 
from the SWP. 

The truth is that the SLL is left 
gasi)ing in the face of the documents. 
It can only bluster, threaten, conceal 
and tragically itself cross the class line 
by threatening to call the cojis. No- 
where in the SLL-PC statement is any 
inkling given of the pamphlet's con- 
tents — i.e., documents of Conference 
participants themselves. Instead the 
pamphlet is made to appear entirely the 
product of the SWP. The reason is that 
the documents, and especially the key 
letter written by Healy himself, expose 
Healy's tactics for what they are. 

In conclusion, there are two iioints. 
In the light of the best eflToi ts by all the 
interested parties to interjiret and jus- 
tify their roles or attitudes toward the 
London Conference, we must state that 
for the historic short run at least we 
have been vitidicuted in the course that 
we steered at the Conference and sub- 
sequently, and have emerged with our 
caiiacity to pursue revolutionary work 
unimpaired. Healy and his New York 
centrist publicist cannot say the same. 

It is absurd to describe Healy's break 
with Spartacist as being our breaking 
from the Fourtii International; rather, 
our understanding of authentic inter- 
nationalism and of our role as a de- 
tachment of the world movement has 
been deepened. And if Healy's wrecking 
sectarianism and bureaucratism have 
made the work of Trotskyists (includ- 
ing ourselves) internationally more 
diflicult, we will go ahead; the world 
party of socialist revolution will be 
reborn, but toward that task Healy has 
been shown to be not a midwife, but an 
abortionist. ■ 



(Continued from Page 1) 
prescription for action to change that structure. 

Most anti-war militants will agree that the high 
school civics text thesis of the nature of political power 
in America is false. There is obviously an enormous 
difference between the power wielded by the working 
people on the one hand, and such servants of the bour- 
geoisie as corporation hierarchies, military circles and 
government bureaucracies, on the other. It is 'apparent 
that we must attack and remove from power the ruling 
class and its agencies in order to end the causes of war 
for good. Where many anti-war fighters reveal doubt 
is over the question of how to attack the present system. 
The working people, including those organized into 
trade unions, look apathetic or worse, certainly not 
very likely candidates to overthrow the system. Thus 
many anti-war fighters end up directing their appeals 
to the middle class, especially its "intellectual" layer. 
They couple these efforts with an attempt to reach the 
one section of the working class they see a^ uncor- 
rupted, the black workers jammed into the big city 

As an immediate description of reality, the image of 
an apathetic white working class is not entirely incor- 
rect, and even those sections of the class which are 
beginning to fight again on economic issues do not 
appear particularly receptive to anti-war propaganda. 
But an examination of the reason for this will reveal 
the key to building an anti-war movement which can 
begin to make genuine inroads into the foundations of 
American imperialism. For in examining the state of 
the working class today, we will discover lioir the ruling 
class rules, and thus how we can fight it. 

It is obvious that when substantial sections of the 
population have rejected, or are about to reject, the 
rule of their capitalist overlords, then the ruling class 
simply rules by open violence. That is what happened 
in the Dominican Republic and that is what is hap- 
pening in Vietnam today. But the preferred method 
of control by the ruling class is ideological — that is to 
say, they would prefer that their slaves be willing. 
Thus, through a variety of social mechanisms, the 
masses of people are politically socialized to believe in, 
if not the justice, at least the permanence of capitalist 
rule. A false consciousness is implanted — not necessai'- 
ily through a conscious "plot" — into the minds of the 
working people. Thus it is that millions of working 
people in the U.S. vote regularly for the Democratic 
Party, feeling that, whatever its inadequacies, it is 
"their" party. 

Smash Illusions 

This analysis points in the direction that the inde- 
pendent anti-war campaigns must take. They should 
not seek to reinforce the illusion of non-class politics 
with radical verbiage, but rather should openly declare 
their recognition that the U.S. is a class society where 
the working class has no political instrument to express 
its will. Their attack on the Democratic Party should 
be in these terms, pointing out that the war in Viet- 

nam is only one of many examples of the betrayal 
of the interests of the working people by the Demo- 
crats. As an alternative to the Democratic Party, they 
should call for the formation of a party of the working 
people, based on trade unions, ghetto gi'oups and other 
organizations of working-class struggle. Since such a 
party will be formed only in struggle against much of 
the present leadership of the trade union and civil 
rights movements, they should encourage the formation 
of militant rank-and-fil* caucuses within these move- 
ments, and seek to work with such caucuses where they 
do exist. In Sum, independent campaigns must not only 
break with the Democratic Party, but must break with 
the system of bourgeois rule, and aim toward arousing 
the working class from its present passive allegiance 
to that system. 

Socialist Candidates 

There are a number of campaigns which have a clear 
socialist or working-class character, which openly iden- 
tify the class basis of politics, and which will therefore 
help advance the anti-war movement. Although all of 
these campaigns may be criticized, they are deserving 
of serious support by opponents of the war. We refer 
to the campaign of Wendy Nakashima, Progressive 
Labor Party candidate for state assemblywoman in 
New York City's 69th A.D.; to the ticket headed by 
Judy White for governor being run by the N.Y. State 
Socialist Workers Party; and to the campaigns for 
Congress waged by Leslie Silberman in the Queens 7th 
Congressional District of New York and by James 
Weinstein in the 19th CD. of Manhattan's West Side. 
The Nakashima campaign takes an explicit position for 
socialism and the working class. Silberman's less clearly 
defined platform includes the demand for a labor party, 
thus recognizing that one must choose to identify with 
the interest of one class over the other — that there can 
be no such thing as a "people's" candidate. Weinstein's 
newly announced candidacy as an independent socialist 
centers on two points: immediate withdrawal of U.S. 
forces from Vietnam and from all other ove^'seas bases; 
the demand for a? ?;ocialist alternative to corporation 
control. Thus Weinstein's campaign makes a definitive 
break from the terrain of capitalist party politics. 

Levin Falters 

An independent peace campaign which seems to come 
close to the class borderline but does not is being made 
by Hal Levin for Congress. Running in Brooklyn, Levin 
is opposing Herbert Aptheker, a Communist Pai'ty 
leader who is hypocritically running as an independent, 
/for purely tactical reasons. Although he is for "ending 
the war in Vietnam," Aptheker refuses to call for im- 
mediate withdrawal. In the face of the politically dis- 
honest Aptheker campaign, it is unfortunate that Levin 
does not come out forthrightly for class politics. With- 
out such a position his campaign is an unsupportable 
waste. Although his platform includes a number of ex- 
cellent demands, it falters when it reaches the question 
of politics. Instead of clearly calling for a political 
party based on the working people, Levin speaks of 
"building a broad-based movement independent of the 
Democratic and Republican parties ... a movement 
for the vast majority of the American people, not for 
(Continued on Page 14) 



Henry Wallace and Gideon's Army 

In lale 1947, Henry A. w'allace an- 
nounced his intention to run for the 
])residency of the U.S. as an anti-war, 
p,)o-labor canciidate. Wallace had been 
seci'etary of agriculture, vice president 
and secretaiy of commerce, all under 
Fi-anklin D. Roosevelt, capitalism's , 
phony champion of the working' man. 
But for the 1948 campaign Wallace ran 
at the head of the new Progressive 
Party, a third party challenge to the two 
established capitalist "front groups." 

During 1946 and early 1947, old-line 
New Dealers and some Democratic poli- 
ticians; CIO President Philip Murray, 
left-dominated unions in the CIO and 
organizations based on the CIO; and 
the Communist Party had all shown an 
interest in such a third party. How- 
ever by December 1947, the first two 
groupings, partially under the pres- 
sures of a gi'ovving red scare, had al- 
most all retreated to the Democratic 
Party. Only the CP and gioupings 
closely allied to it gave any substantial 
support after the end of 1947. The na- 
ture of that support can he seen by the 
continuing withdrawals throughout the 
campaign by Stalinist-led unions con- 
fi-onted by CIO pressure, and by the 
composition of the Progressive Citizens 
of America, a largely petty-bourgeois 
CP fi'ont group, a good section of which 
later formed the Americans for Demo- 
cratic Action. Wallace, with his an- 
nouncement, initiated not a, wide-based 
niovement but a petty -bourgeois' "Gid- 
eon's Army," captained by Stalinists. 

The Messiah Movement 

paign waged l)y Wallace is accurately 
indicated in that term. Wallace himself 
relished the designation and seemed 
eager to portray himself as a latter-day 
Gideon. His appearances were accom- 
panied Ijy gospel singers, trumpets and 
a revivalist camp atmosphere. He cam- 
paigned on the basis of peace among 
nations, brotherhood among men and 
jfustice for all. Rather than use the 
first campaign of a new nation-wide 
party as a means for raising the con- 
sciousness of the working class, Wal- 
lace accepted the role of a messiah, 
come to save the American people. 

Just before the election, Wallace pro- 
claimed that the Progressive Party 
coiild count many victories: a third 
pai'ty had been put on the ballot in 45 
states; moreover, his campaign had 
slowed the "cold war," given pause to 
the assault on civil rights and elimi- 
nated the possibility of a witch hunt. 

The rejoinders to Wallace's claims 
aie today obvious, but they need to be 
made because the type of victories 
which Wallace claimed are the same 
type that many peace and independent 
candidates seek today. Where is that 
third party today? What use, other 
than electoral, v/as made of the more 
than a million voters who supported 
Wallace? If the "cold war" has slowed, 
it has slowed only to be replaced by a 
series of U.S. maneuvered hot wais and 
CIA-run counter revolutions, most aid- 
ed by the treacherous role of Stalinist 
parties. As for the last two claims, one 
need point only to the continuing police 
assaults on Harlem, Watts, Chicago, 
The nature of the third party cam-lffiSCleveland and East New York and to 

Of ML J 



SPARTACIST group in NYC August march protesting Vietnam war. 

the McCarthy period, followed by the 
HUAC period, followed by the Epton 

Role of Ihf Guurdiaii 

The totally capitalist nature of Wal- 
lace's third party can be seen by read- 
ing the early issues of the National 
Guaidian and by comparing the speci- 
fic items of Wallace's platform to those 
in any Democratic Party platform. 

The National Guardian began publi- 
cation in October, 1948, primarily as 
the propaganda organ' for the Wallace 
campaign. Its very first issue (18 Octo- 
ber 1948) pioclaimed: 

"This editorial point of view will 
be a continuation and development 
of the progressive tradition set in 
lur time by Franklin D. Roosevelt. . . 

"We conceive the progressive tra- 
<lition to be represented today by 
Henry A. Wallace.'.. 

"We believe, with FDR and Hen- 
ry Wallace, in expanding freedoms 
and living standards for all peoples 
as the essential foundation of a 
world at peace. 

"We believe, with FDR and Hen- 
ry Wallace, that peace can be se- 
cured only by seeking areas of 
agreement among nations, rather 
than seeking areas of disagreement." 
The high-blown rhetoric cannot con- 
ceal three basic fallacies in those few 
sentences: that FDR, capitalism's front 
man par excellence, was in reality the 
advocate for the working man; that 
capitalism, which can do nothing to 
stem famine in India or prevent an ap- 
proaching famine in Latin America, is 
able to improve the living standards of 
the whole world's population; and that 
theie is no significant difference be- 
tween the capitalist U.S. ami socialist 

A campaign based on such fallacies 
can do nothing but dull the conscious- 
ness of the working class. Why should 
the labor movement back a minoi' party 
candidate who pleads, "Capitalism 
would be just fine if slightly reformed, 
so vote for me"? The Democratic Party 
asserts the same line and its candidates 
can be immediately elected. Such a 
campaign can have no outcome other 
than the strengthening of the Demo- 
cratic Party's hold over the working- 

When just that did hai)i)en in the '48 
election, the CP and others backing 
Wallace took credit for such a strength- 
ening of the party which the bour- 
geoisie have increasingly realized is 
their protector. The Gnanliuii exulted 
in its post-election issue (8 November 
(Continued Next Page) 


. . . WALLACE 

1948) : 

"The people of a whole world can 
looH towa;-d America today with re- 
newed confidence. The American 
people have reaffirmed their pro- 
gressive tradition. They have re- 
pelled the bold maneuvering of mo- 
nopoly and reaction to take over 
America through Thomas E. Dewey 
and the Republican Paity. They 
have handed Harry S. Truman an 
unmistakable mandate to return to 
the principles of Franklin D. Roose- 

"The mandate would not have 
been possible if the Progressive Par- 
ty had not introduced the Roosevelt 
program into the 1948 campaign." 

Wallace's Program 

The laughable absurdity of such a 
statement is apparent as soon as one 
analyzes the class nature of the Roose- 
velt program which Wallace intro- 
duced. Its demands have already been 
fulfilled or have been repeated as tru- 
isms in the Great Society of another 

Wallace's program broke down into 
two general areas, isolated from each 
other: the achievement of international 
peace and the progressive reform of 
U.S. capitalism at home. According to 
Wallace, the U.S. could achieve world- 
wide peace by establishing faith in the 
UN, by negotiating with . Soviet Rus- 
sia, by recognizing new small countries 
such as Israel and by abolishing mili- 
tary conscription at home. 

The domestic reforms required slight- 
ly more complex solutions. On the so- 
cial side, Wallace advocated abolition 
of Jim Crow laws and the establish- 
ment of legal guarantees for civil 
rights; federal aid to housing, health 
and education; and governmental pro- 
motion of science and culture. On the 
economic front, he called for a council 
of economic planning to assure high 
production, full employment and a 
rising standard of living-; public owner- 
ship of key areas of the economy in 
TVA type developments; repeal of the 
Taft-Hartley law and a one dollar an 
hour minimum wage; anti-trust action 
against monopolies; and rollback of 
l)rices covered out of exorbitant profits. 

A Bourgeois Program 

Capitalism has been able to fulfill 
most of these demands or hold out the 
promise of their fulfillment without 
seriously damaging its own position. 
Thus the program posed no questions 
v.'hich capitalism itself could not ap- 
pear to solve. It did not serve to link 
up the economic pressures at home with 
the already mounting imperialism of 
the "cold war." Thus Wallace's general 
evaluations of Progressive Party suc- 
cesses were ali proved incorrect be- 

cause his platform, accepted gladly by 
Truman, dealt with specific ills in a 
capitalist society and not with the capi 
talist mode of production which pro 
duces those illsT 

There was no ideological content to 
the Wallace campaign— only the slor 
gans of a messi^h-reformer — and the 
one million votes formed no' base for 
the development of a third party op- 
posed to capitalist control. 

Labor Control Needed 
James Cannon in a 1948 internal 
SWP discussion on the Wallace candi- 
dacy offered several criteria which can 
be used as measures today of these new 
third parties. He stated that Wallace's 
policies showed only tactical differences 
in the camp of the bourgeoisie and that 
to support Wallace would mean an en- 
trance into "lesser-evil" politics. He 
diff'erentiated between the pseudo-radi- 
cal party of a petty-bourgeois reform- 
ist like Wallace and the revolutionary 
labor party, which would proceed from 
the aim to assist the development of in- 

To explain the 1 June victory of Jo- 
aquin Balaguer in the Dominican pres- 
idential elections, the apologists for the 
Dominican left leadership have pro- 
duced the bogeyman of a U.S. rigged 
election. (See Juan Antonio Corretjer 
in PL's Cfia(lpvge-Dcsafin, 5 July 
lOfifi.) Yet the defeat of Juan Bosch 
in a country recently torn hy an insur- 
rection apparently aimed at returning 
him to office cannot be explained by 
buck-passing fantasies. (Just as those 
same apologists were incorrect in view- 
ing the betrayal in Indonesia as the 
work of the CIA bogeyman.) We do 
not deny t|ie criminal role of the inter- 
national bourgeoisie, but we do say 
that this role cannot be used as a blind 
to cover the rotten politics of revision- 
ists. Successful counterrevolution usu- 
ally follows class bargaining perpe- 
trated by petty-bourgeois "leftists" at 
the expense of the masses. 

The insurrection was oiiginally 
bourgeois-democratic in nature, con- 
cerned with restoring the constitution 
of 1963. When "progressive" army offi- 
cers demanded in April 1965 the return 
of the constitution, the working class 
and students, especially in proletarian 
sectors of Santo Domingo, joined the 
rebellion and supported their demands. 
However, the masses of Santo Domin- 
go also created a potentially revolu- 
tionary situation. By 28 April, Santo 
Domingo was in the hands of the 
masses, organized into neighborhood 

dependent political action by workers 
and turn that action towards its revo- 
lutionary culmination. Finally he in- 
sisted that the class character of a 
party is determined not primarily by 
the class which supports it but by the 
class it supports, in its program, daily 
policy and practice. 

The SWP Political Committee reso- 
lution on the Wallace candidacy devel- 
oped on the basis of these criteria its 
minimum requiiement for critical sup- 
port to a third party: that the party be 
based on a significant section of labor 
and be subject to its control and pres- 

The incipient third parties could eas- 
ily use these criteria in order to dis- 
tinguish the class nature of their own 
demands, and therefore the possibility 
of those demands leading to a revolu- 
tionary culmination. More importantly, 
parties claiming to be Marxist need to 
establish such criteria as the basis for 
their own support to third party move- 
ments. (The SWP might well take note 
of its own past history.) ■ 

committees and similar military-po- 
litical bodies. These were potential 
forms of woi'kers' power. 

U.S. Invasion 

Then U.S. marines and paratroopers 
invaded. Soon they fortified the Junta's 
weak resistance, cut Santo Domingo in 
two, pushed the rebels into Ciudad 
Nueva, a proletarian sector, and al- 
lowed the troops of Elias Wessin y 
Wessin to "clean up" the northern reb- 
el sector, isolated from Ciudad Nueva 
by the imperialist troops. 

For all Latin American revolution* 
aries, the lesson of this invasion is 
clear: imperialism can never mediate; 
it can only react brutally in an attempt 
to smash revolutions, even those which 
start out with bourgeois-democratic 
aims. The only excuse imperialism will 
need will be a call from any semblahce 
of a legal "property" government 
which imperialism itself, has created. 

While this is clear to the advocates 
of the bogeyman theory of counter- 
revolution, they seem unaware that a 
corrupt leadership can also defeat a 
potentially viable revolutionary situa- 
tion. The very fact that they attach so 
much importance to the electoral - de- 
feat of Bosch indicates that they see 
no need for a leadership which is w- 
olutionary. Bosch's whole political his- 
tory is that of the governmental re- 
former: his simultaneously anti-Tru- 
jillo, anti-communist attacks before 




1961; his program, while in office, to 
establish a national bourgeoisie, reform 
feudal land relations and democratize 
Dominican society; his position during 
the '63 coup, dumping himself in the 
name of order; and his disavowal 6f 
leftist groups during the recent elec- 
tion campaign. 

Popular Front 

Yet, the most significant lesson of 
the uprising and its developments is 
contained in the treacherous role of 
the left leadership whose actions re- 
vealed their petty-bourgeois outlook. 
Leaders of the Partido Socialista Pop- 
ular (pro-Moscow communist), the 
Movimiento Popular Dominicano (pro- 
Peking communist), and the 14th of 
June Movement (nationalist) all 
sought during the insurrection to emas- 
culate real revolutionary action in the 
armed masses. This leadership took up 
a popular front tactic and maintained 
at first that the struggle was one of 
constitutional legality and then, when 
U.S. marines entered, one of national 
liberation. It is curious that these "left- 
ists" at first tried to label this tactic 
a united front, as if the Partido Revo- 
Incionario Dominicano did not have a 
long history of traditional bourgeois 
politics and of anti-communist cam- 
paigns. Quite satisfied to be allowed to 
work under Bosch's PRD, they never 
challenged its mandate. If they had 
any perspective of class struggle left, 
it dissolved at the bargaining table of 
Caamaiio, the Papal Nuncio and the 
OAS "Peace Force." 

In this merger with the constitution- 
alists, they were unable to push the up- 
rising towards a socialist revolution. 
They did not connect other Dominican 
cities or the countryside with Santo 
Domingo; nor did they call upon Latin 
American workers to support their 

As popular frontists they didn't dis- 
tinguish between classes. These "left- 
ists" did not even notice that the rebel- 
lion was part of the international class 
struggle. The people were armed and 
willing to fight. That their conscious- 
ness and slogans were nationalistic and 
not proletarian was of no concern to 
the petty-bourgeois "left" leadership. 
They never attempted to advance a 
totally different concept, that of revo- 
lutionary class struggle, by which they 
could develop class consciousness of 
the proletariat in preparation for a 
continuing struggle against the bour- 
geoisie, both international and nation- 

Bourgeois Hegemony 
Once Under the hegemony of the 
bourgeois PRD and its policies, the 
M14J, the PSP and the MPD' partici- 
pated in their own liquidation as pos- 
sible revolutionary parties. (In late 
1961 and early 1962, the M14J was the 

third largest Dominican party, with a 
broad mass following. Today it has re- 
turned . to its earlier petty-bourgeois 
student base.) Their complete subserv- 
ience to the propagandistically nation- 
alist, bourgeois-democratic policies of 
the PRD was the logical end 6f their 
dqireers in opportunism, careers which 
included earlier accommodations to 
Bosch; and, in the case of the PSP, 
even to Trujillo; and, of the M14J, to 
the neo-Trujilloist Union Civica Na- 
cionaly who campaigned under the slo- 
gan "God is never wrong." 

Although this leadership never dis- 
avowed collaboration with the class 
enemy, the bourgeoisie and its political 
representatives never lost an opportu- 
nity to attack them. For instance, Gas- 
ton Espinal, New York leader of the 
PRD, said at the beginning of the 1965 
uprising: "They [the leftists] have no 
influence whatsoever and never will 
have any." He obviously felt that U.S. 
imperialism, however, ought to have 
influence, for, when he was asked about 
the landing of the marines, he replied, 
"How can you object to saving lives?" 
Yet, Manuel Tavares, a leader of the 
M14J, characterized the PRD as "the 
agent of a national, democratic, anti- 
imperialist and anti-feudal revolution." 
This characterization was made ap- 
provingly as though a bourgeois-demo- 
cratic revolution were the answer for 
all of Latin America's problems. 

Nationalist Slogans 
Given such a background of class 
collaboration, the final outcome of the 
election becomes more understandable. 
When the last rebel stronghold was 
"cleaned up" after the August truce, 
the left leadership continued to strug- 
gle under the same slogans of nation- 
alism which had proven worthless in 
the insurrectionary struggles. Follow- 
ing-this line, they continued to support 
Bosch for the elections, rather than 
pose a class alternative to the two 
candidates of bourgeois reaction. They 
preferred the immediate possibility of 
a Bosch victory to the continuing 
struggle to raise class consciousness to 
its proletarian revolutionary conclu- 
sion. However, Bosch rejected their 
support as he had in 1962. He made an 
official statement opposing a general 
strike called by MPD in November on 
the grounds that it was the "duty" of 
workers to ignore the strike call and to 
support the OAS-backed Garcia-Godoy 
regime. Apparently sui-prised by this 
move, the MPD, without naming Bosch, 
accused him of "sabotage" and of 
"playing along with the Provisional 
Government and Yankee imperialism." 

A look at the strike call, however, 
makes it clear that it is the MPD 
which should be blamed for the failure 
of the strike. After a long series of 
accomodations to Bosch and no prep- 

aration for i-eal revolutionary tactics, 
they adventuristically called for a "pa- 
triotic strike" against "Yankee im- 
perialism . . . which wants to trans- 
form this country into a United States 
colony like Puerto Rico." Certainly we 
support national self-determination as 
one aspect of the proletarian revolution 
in the "colonial" world, but the MPD 
had not built a proletarian base for 
making such a call. Their adventurism 
allowed Bosch to divert the strike, also 
in the name of nationalism. 

Balaguer's Victory 

This adventuvistic fling, on top of the 
whole long traitorous, expedient coali- 
tion, could do nothing but confuse the 
class basis of the struggle. The masses 
pushed the struggle as far as they 
could, only to be betrayed by the left 
leadership who called to Bosch for 
guidance. The subsequent feeling of 
betrayal must in part have contributed 
to Balaguer's victory. 

He represented "order" after long 
months of meaningless bloodshed. 
Surely the masses didn't trust or re- 
spect Balaguer, but no class conscious- 
ness had been awakened by those pur- 
porting to lead the masses; the revo- 
lutionary situation had withered and 
died. Balaguer campaigned in the rur- 
al areas in the name . of "order" and 
"unity," capitalism's electoral facade. 
There was no one with the force and 
authority to unmask him. And the 
rural ai'eas, which had overwhelming- 
ly supported Bosch in' the 1962 elec- 
tions, gave Ba!lagLier the victory. 


Cuba and Marxist Theory 

selected documents on 
the Cuban Question 
35^ a copy 

order from Spartacist 

Box 1377, G.P.O. 
New York, N.Y. 10001 

Role of Cuba 

As the role of the leftist leadership 
was ultimately counterrevolutionary 
within the Dominican Republic, so the 
role of the Cuban bureaucracy was to 
give meaningless support. The Cuban 
leadership, and its main spokesman, 
Fidel Castro, failed to effectively aid 
the Dominican uprising. They did, 
however, deliver their predictable pro- 
tests in the name of "people's sover- 
eignty" through respectable channels 
of protest, such as the U.N. At the 
same time, Castro made it clear that 
the uprising was not communist and 
that Cuba had nothing to do with it. 
Though such a statement would not be 
an incorrect diplomatic tactic, the Cu- 
CContinued on Page 11) 




by Geoffrey White 

The sensational stoiy of the shotgun 
killings of two California trade union 
militants in early April 1966 received 
heavy news coverage in West Coast 
newspapers. The assassination of Dow 
Wilson on 5 April and Lloyd Green on 
7 May was a brutal affront only to the 
sensibilities of those with short mem- 
ories who are misled by the facade of 
bourgeois democratic phraseology into 
forgetting that this country has one 
pf the bloodiest labor histories of any 
country in the world. The American 
trade unions were built in bitter strug- 
gle, and the state of California itself 
has been the setting for some of the 
most pronounced conflicts. The San 
Francisco waterfront was the scene of 
violent, bloody clashes and hard-fought 
strikes from 1934 to 1936; in 1941 a 
famous strike at North American Avi- 
ation was crushed by" the threat of 
force — more exactly, by the mobiliza- 
tion of 3500 National Guardsmen. In 
the immediate post-war period a .series 
of shootings thwarted the attempt to 
organize farm labor in the San Joaquin 
Valley. Thus the Delano grape strike 
and the shooting of Wilson and Green 
are part of a series of struggles which 
in this last case have reached a par- 
ticularly violent culmination. 

Wilson, as a very young man, was 
active in the maritime unions in the 
immediate post-war period. Maritime 
in those days was a tough school, and 
Wilson apparently learned a great deal 
about militant unionism. After a 
couple of years of this experience, he 
left maritime and became a house 
painter by trade and in 1951 a member 
of one of the San Francisco locals of 
the Painters Union. 

The Painters Union would appear to 
be a poor field of work for a militant 
unionist. Unionism in the building 
trades has been and still is notoriously 
conservative as well as corrupt. The 
building trades pay generally high 
wages, and to those who legaid only 
the low-paid and unorganized workers 
as likely militants, the Painters Un- 
ion appears an uninviting arena. In 
many respects, however, the painters 
are «oi privileged workers. Chronic 
unemployment, with shai'p seasonal 
changes, is compounded b^ poor work- 
ing conditions. The men suffer from 
an acute speed-up system and the con- 

stant piessure of labor-saving — and 
labor-sweating — technological changes 
such as the air-gun and roller; in ad- 
dition, painters' wages compare poorly 
with those of workers in the other 
building trades. 

Central to all these problems have 
been the internal conditions of the 
union. The Painters International vies 
with management in its corruption and' 
conservatism. Racketeering has been 
common and there have been numerous 
scandals. The prevalence of sweetheart 
contracts suggests unusually close re- 
lations between contractors and inter- 
national officials. Union democracy has 
been a joke. In New York City's Dis- 
trict 9 a group under the influence of 
the Communist Party has been battling 
the bureaucracy for decades, but with 
only partial and temporary successes. 
The routine of bureaucratic sell-outs 
has not been relieved by any major 
struggles for a long time. 

Struggle in Painters Union 

Into this arena the young maritime 
exile brought more than the skills he 
had learned on the waterfront. He 
brought a personality and ability to 
communicate that could win the trust 
and confidence of those who had been 
too often bilked and deceived not to be 
cynical. By the late fifties, the darkest 
of the McCarthy night was over, even 
in the union movement, where it lasted 
longer, ])erha]is, than in other social 
sectors. Wilson, in whom remarkable 
talents and experience combined with 
a no less remarkable integrity, 
emerged as a militant and powerful 
spokesman for an aggrieved rank and 
file. A period of intense struggles be- 
gan. As Wilson and his supporters be- 
came increasingly powerful among San 
Francisco painters, resistance to speed- 
up was increased, job conditions were 
l)rotected, and the lank and file began 
to achieve a new sense of its own 
power. In time, Wilson and the group 
around him were in a position to chal- 
lenge the power of the international 
and its local representatives. Wilson 
and others in his group were elected to 
office, and the local went into opposi- 

This was bad news fo)- the contrac- 
tors and their good friends in the in- 
ternational union. The newly militant 

union conducted one of the most effec- 
tive building trades strikes in recent 
history and won for the painters 
startling wage increases. The two San 
Francisco locals with overlapping jur- 
isdiction — a source of delight for the 
employers and of opportunity for the 
international union ofl^cials — were 
amalgamated, over the bitter opposi- 
tion of the higher bureaucracy. Con- 
tracts were not only improved, but en- 
forced as well, against previously priv- 
ileged employers. As the influence of 
the San Francisco militants spread 
into other locals in northern Califor- 
nia, it became evident that Wilson and 
his friends might soon be in a position 
to challenge the leadership on a na- 
tional level. The international tried to 
have Wilson and other union leaders 
removed from office on vague charges 
of disruption and di.sloyalty, but the 
militants' sti'ength was already enough 
to pi'event this maneuvre. 

Matters really came to a head over 
the question of the business agent as- 
sessment. It had been the practice in 
the international for each local to pay 
a certain per capita assessment, which 
was then used by the international to 
pay the salaries of business agents. 
Thus the full-time union employees in 
the field were emplo.yed by and hence 
controlled by the international organi- 
zation. Wilson and his supporters op- 
])osed this and advocated instead that 
business agents be hired by and paid 
by the locals. This would obviously rep- 
resent a shift in powei', and involved 
basic contiol of not only the union but 
hundreds of thousands of dollars in 
union dues. The locals of San Fran- 
cisco and neighboring East Bay fin- 
ally threw down the ultimate challenge. 
They refused to pay their business 
agent assessments, and moved to hire 
their own functionaries instead. 

Labor Assassination 
On 5 April 1966 Dow Wilson was 
murdered, with a shotgun, gangland 
style. On 7 May, Lloyd Green, a col- 
laborator of Wilson's in the Hayward 
local in the East Bay, was murdered in 
the same fashion. For the first time in 
thirty years, assassination appeared 
as a weapon on the northern California 
labor scene. 

Considering the gravity, of the crime, s 


the reaction was surprisingly mild. 
The murdered men's associates de- 
manded prompt action by the police, 
and some of the unionists sought police 
protection. The local labor leaders de- 
plored and condemned, as did the bour- 
geois press. The same reaction came . 
eyen from the new-left radical move- 
ment, almost as if labor murders were 
deplorable but outside of and irrele- 
vant to the student world. Some of 
Wilson's friends in the Painters Union 
suggested that all labor in the region 
be invited to attend the funeral; in 
short, they advocated a one-day general 
strike. Even in Wilson's own local, 
lowever, this proposal was rejected, 
ind instead the union commended the 
diligence of the San Fi-ancisco police.. 

A few weeks after the murder of 
Green, San Francisco police arrested 
five men for conspiracy to commit mur- 
der. The arrests were as much the 
result of the efforts of a single stool- 
pigeon and the local liberal newspaper 
as of the energy and skill of the police. 
The defendants themselves are an in- 
teresting, if depressing, lot. They in- 
clude painting contractors from the 
Sacramento area, employer trustees of 
an employer-union health and welfari 
fund, and a San Francisco bar owner. 
As "representatives of the bourgeoisie" 
they are a scroungy bunch. In fact, 
with their picture-window houses, loud 
cars and brittle wives, thfey would al- 
most arouse sympathy, were it not that 
more people are killed by insects than 
by rattlesnakes. 

Trial by press began at once, and 
went so far that local authorities are 
reading the Sheppard decision by the 
Supreme Coui4- with considerable mis- 
givings. The case against the defen- 
dants appears to rest primarily on the 
testimony of an underworld informer. 
Another unsatisfactory aspect is the 
motive alleged by the Wall Street Jour- 
nal and others for the killing — fear on 
the part of the welfare fund trustees 
that Wilson would expose their mis- 
appropriation of fimds. This seems 
rather inadequate as all Wilson had 
said on the subject was that the trus- 
tees had used poor judgment on some 
investments, and in fact the handling 
of the welfare fund was already Under 
the scrutiny of the district attorney. 

Public confidence in the prosecution's 
case was not further increased when 
Clyde Simmonds, 75-year-old secretary 
of the Sacramento Painting and Dec- 
orating Contractors' Association, was 
released on bail by Judge Elkington 
because the only testimony against him 
was the following recording on a tap- 
ped telephone: 

"I had to take a certain little action 

to stop a fire from growing into a 

big bonfire, and now you don't hear 

.anything more about it." 


What is known about the case to 
date creates little confidence in the 
minds of thoughtful people that the 
whole tale will be told. It would be, 
altogether too convenient for the au- 
thorities that some already soiled, 
lumpen-bourgeois elements should take 
the rap in this embarrassing case. On 
the Green case, there has been total 

Underlying Conditions 

The murder of a public figure for 
public reasons always throws into 
sharp relief the underlying social con- 
ditions. So it was with Malcolm X, 
with Kennedy, and so also with Wilson 
and Green. One aspect of the current 
labor movement, highlighted by the 
indictment of the allegedly crooked 
welfare fund trustees, is the extent to 
which American labor unions are vic- 
tims of their own partial successes. 
The accumulation of vast sums in pen- 
sion and welfare schemes, running in- 
to millions of dollars, is not only a 
source of ideological corruption — tying 
the unions more firmly to the system, 
by giving them bank accounts, build- 
ings and investments to defend — but 
also attracts open gangsters and rack- 
eteers, on the side of both employer 
and union. Yet the abolition of these 
fiinds, in a "back to the thirties" move- 
ment, is no answer. Besides the eco- 
nomic power the unions derive from 
the money, the health and welfare pro- 
visions give union members a protec- 
tion they would not otherwise have. 
The only prophylaxis against the in- 
herent and inevitable corruptive in- 
fluence of, these funds on the union 
movement is the politicalization and 
ideological transformation of the la- 
bor movement. 

This process, transcending pure and 

simple unionism, alone can provide a 
countervailing influence. The alterna- 
tive is increased corruption, leading to 
lising demands for government super- 
vision and control. This would be a 
steji toward statification of the unions 
and their complete rlestruction as in- 
dependent organs of the working class, 
which would he fatal to the role of the 
imions as the economic arm of the 
working class on the road to power. 

"New Leftism" Undermined 

Despite superficial appearances to 
the contrary, the Wilson case under- 
mines some of the pet notions of the 
new-left theoreticians, outstanding 
among which is an attack on an alleged 
labor mystique and a tendency to write 
off the organized sector of the working- 
class as hopelessly corrupt, conserva- 
tive and inmiune to radical ideas. Wil- 
son, a man with a radical background 
and a radical style, was able to build 
a regional ])ower in a building trades 
union, win it to a militant trade union 
line on economic questions, and force 
major concessions from the employers. 
Furthermore, at the time of his death, 
he was on the offensive against the 
international bureaucracy of the un- 
ion. All this was accomplished by se- 
rious and sustained work inside the 
union — a far cry from the settlement- 
house-mission style favored by some 
new leftists and by Progressive Labor. 
Old-line Stalinists might also consider 
that Wilson quoted Shakespeare freely, 
grew a beard and frequently wore a 
beret — scarcely the "just one of the 
boys" style they teach their cadre. 

These events also point up the right 
and the duty of radicals and labor mil- 
itants to take what steps are feasible 
to defend themselves. Besides the 
southern bombings and murders, the 
recent jieriod has seen two West Coast 
bomliings, the assassination of Mal- 
colm X, the politico-ps.\chopathic shoot- 
ing of Trotskyists in Detroit, and the 
assassination of the two trade union 
rebels in the Bay Area. However, in a 
society wheie a man's life can be ulti- 
mately puichased for a few thousand 
dollars, the only fundamental defense 
of dissident leaders is the creation of 
an organized, political and program- 
matically sound movement which can 
cai iy on the work of its leaders and 
which, furthermoie, can react effec- 
tively to assassinations. A one-day 
general strike in the Bay Area would 
have done more to protect the lives of 
future Wilsons and Greens than the 
most zealous work of the bourgeois 

Militaiuy Not Enougli 

Not oidy Wilson's successes, but also 
his ultimate failure should have mean- 
ing for all those who seek a radical 
. (Continued Next Page) 

10 — 


. . . MURDER 

transformation of society. Here the 
analogy to Malcolm is painfully close. 
The school of maritime was the tough- 
est school, but not necessarily the best, 
for young trade union militants. The 
milieu in which Wilson spent his early 
tjade union days was ideologically 
dominated by the pragmatic opportun- 
ism of the Stalinist movement. Its aim 
was to control, to win — not to build a 
principled, long-iange movement. The 
Stalinists of course did not invent 
this attitude, which was shared by the 
right and by other centrist forces. The 
Communist Party can be blamed, how- 
ever, for not attempting to overcome 
the trend of the general union move- 
ment, particularly within its own 

The activists of the New Left recog- 
nize the betrayals of the labor move- 
ment by Stalinist reformists but re- 
fuse to analyze them in order to de- 

THE NEW LEFT by Philip Abbot 
Luce. David McKay Company, New 
York, 1966. $4.50. 

Prior to his expulsion from the Pro- 
gressive Labor Party, Philip Abbot 
Luct; spent nine years in and around 
the radical movpiupnt. This experience, 
coupled with a good literary style, 
nial<cs Tlic Nciv I. eft likely to l)Pcome 
a .stniidnrd icfcreiicc text for "liber- 
als"' sepki)ig a rationale for their anti- 
cuivuiiunism. Tiie. author worlced hard 
to sive his new book an aura of credi- 
bility; The Neiv Left is billed as an in- 
side job, and it is. 

Frame Up 

Writing from the -vantage point of 
an "older but wiser friend of alienated 
student youth," Luce avoids the blatant 
anti-communism of HUAC and the 
Birch Society. As he speaks in the same 
bi eath of the "democratic" war in Viet- 
nam and the "democratic" right of 
"young Communists" to express their 
views, Luce also builds a case for put- 
ting his ex-comrades in jail. In addi- 
tion to repeating the lie about Epton's 
"kill cops and judges" .speech. The New 
Left concocts a tale of arms smuggling 
and plans for insurrection. The falsity 
of Luce's allegations becomes doubly 
clear in light of the State's evidence at 
Epton's fiame-up trial for "criminal 
anarchy." The tape of Epton's speech 
was so garbled that the prosecution 
was forced to explain what was really 
sale]. The Grand Jury and Fritz 
O. Behr's Red Squad couldn't produce 

termine the correct tactics for win- 
ning labor struggles. They put down 
as sectarian, factional, Old-Left and 
futile any internal struggle within po- 
litical organizations, and by analogy, 
the factional fight in a union; the lat- 
ter escapes their specific condemnation 
only because of their ignorance of it. 
The history of Dow Wilson in the 
Painters Union serves to illustrate 
once again that the fight for rank-and- 
file control , and militancy within the 
union is simply the manifestation in- 
ternally of the external class struggle, 
just as is the struggle with revision- 
ism, sectarianism and ultra-leftism 
within radical groupings. For the trade 
unions, as for political groups, the in- 
ternal struggle is decisive. Only to the 
extent that Wilson and his associates 
were able to overcome the internal op- 
position were they able successfully to 
confront the bosses. The impatient 
young men of the New Left do their 
best to bypass or deny this process, as 
they resist any clarification of the po- 
litical direction or efforts at polariza- 

another shred of "evidence" despite all 
the anti-communist hysteria that grew 
out of the Harlem "riots." 

Clearly Luce condones the creation 
of a witch hunt atmosphere wherein 
political views alone are the measure 
of guilt, in the State's zeal to get rid of 
i)lack revolutionaries, it overstepped 
the bounds of the bourgeois-democratic 
court, in a manner reminiscent of the 
McCarthy period; the "democratic anti- 
communist" Luce is silent on this point, 

As "American" as apple pie and 
motherhood, Philip Abbot Luce is now 
coinmitted to the "freedom-loving" im- 
perialist establishment. From his initi- 
ation into journalistic anti-communism 
in the National Review and the Satur- 
day Evening Post, Luce has graduated 
into the Philbrick-Budenz Club with his 
writing of The New Left. 


In no way is The Neiv Left an honest 
appraisal of current radical politics. 
Luce is both malicious and sloppy in 
his presentation, naming persons and 
inventing anecdotes to connect them 
with his distorted and largely dishonest 
accounts of various political organiza- 
tions. His purpose in writing and the 
thrust of his book is the impleme,nta- 
tion of his prophecy: "No one, least of 
all the Progressive Labor people, should 
be surprised if the government steps in 
soon and takes viable and visible action 
against them and their advocacy of 
revolution." And we can be sure Luce 
will be cheering- from the sidelines. ■ 

tion along class lines of the anti-war 
and civil rights movements. 

, Programmatic Position Needed 
It is clear that what Wilson was at- 
tempting to build in his union was a 
militant democratic rank-and-file move- 
ment but, for all that, one built oii 
no other basis than the most advanced 
form of pure trade unionism. The 
course of events since his murder, es- 
pecially the act of his supporters in 
substituting commendation of the eff- 
orts of the police for the proposed one- 
day strike, indicates that Wilson did 
not win over a decisive grouping to a 
class-conscious ideological or program- 
matic position. This would meet with 
the approval of the new-left anti-theo- 
reticians, but, as in the case of Malcolm 
X, it has had tragic consequences. The 
bourgeoisie has a political program and 
ideology; when its chief political 
spokesman was murdered, its political 
course was not substantially altered. 
With "left" leaders, whose leadership 
is based on charisma, like Malcolm, or 
on a ceitain style, like Wilson, assas- 
sination can deflect the of an 
entire movement. 

The history of Wilson and Green 
contains both a promise and a warning 
for those who would change this society 
at its base. The labor movement is not 
dead, nor is the working class irrevers- 
ibly wedded to the bourgeois system. 
Skillful and persistent efforts by mili- 
tant unionists can work significant 
transformations in the most coi-rupt 
unions and can reawaken the political 
consciousness of even, the relatively 
prosperous workers. On the other hand, 
mere militancy has its limitations and 
is subject to external hazai'ds and 
shocks, not the least of which is the 
hand of the assassin. Building an ideo- 
logical and programmatic movement 
within the trade unions, linking up the 
struggles of the different sections of 
the working class, and carrying these 
struggles forward to the point where 
the question of political power is cleai- 
ly posed is slow and difficult, but it 
Intimately remains the only road to 
fundamental and permanent transfor- 
mation of society. ■ 

/ V 

Contribute to the 
Galloshow Defense Fund 

P.O. Box 95 
New Lots Station 
Brooklyn NY 11208 


Red Squad Handbook 


— 11 

. . . COMMUNE 

(Continued from Page 7) 

ban bureaucracy meant what it said 
and was willing to prove it to the 
world. On the other hand, Castro had 
to simulate militancy, at least in words. 
Thus, he praised Frei, the reactionary 
Chilean iiresident, for "demanding 
that the U.S. cease its armed inter- 
vention in the Dominican Republic." 

Adolfo Ciilly, in a Monthly Review 
article of April 19fi(), suggests an ap- 
proach to revolutionary support sig- 
nificantly different than the one of the 
Cuban bureaucracy: "Active support 
signifies the mobilization of the masses 
in Cuba by all possible means for the 
purpose of showing their support for 
the Dominicans, and not the mere 
broadcasting of declarations. It signi- 
fies calling on the Latin American 
masses to mobilize, it signifies giving 
guidance in the struggle for the de- 
fense of the Dominican Republic, pro- 
viding a center in Cuba for all the 
spontaneous mobilizations that were 
taking place in Latin America. The 
Cuban leadership did none of these 

But the Cuban bureaucracy could do 
-^none of these things for it follows the 
policy of Moscow. Cuba's economic 
weaknesses force it to depend politically 
on the Russian bureaucracy, and Mos- 
cow's policy is peaceful co-existence. 
All this accentuates the crisis of lead- 
ership in Cuba. Under such a state of 
afi'airs, the way the Cuban bureauc- 
racy reacted to the Dominican uprising 
is a logical one, traceable to the social 
composition of such a bureaucracy. 
This nationalist, petty-bourgeois and 
conservative bureaucratic caste is com- 
posed mainly of Batista's one-time 
friends, the Cuban CP. 

Castro's unprincipled attack on the 
13th of November Movement, a Guate- 
malan guerilla group that so far has 
struggled for a workers' and peasants' 
revolution, instead of a "popular front" 
with the bourgeoisie, confirms the in- 
ability of the Cuban bureaucracy to 
pi'ovide leadership to any part of the 
Latin American struggle. 

"Leftist" Apologies 

The leftist leadership which took 
part in the Dominican uprisings have 
already produced apologies for their 
actions. A spokesman for the M14J, 
Dr. Emilio Cordero Michel, in the De- 
cember 1965 PL magazine, shows that 
he is grateful, as is Castro, to the gov- 
ernments of Mexico and Chile for 
"their unwavering defense of the prin- 
ciple of non-intervention." He ignores 
the real purpose of these reactionary 
governments: to declare themselves 
partisans of this or that bourgeois le- 
gality. The reactionary governments of 

Mexico and Chile are only defending 
their own national bourgeois interests 
against possible U.S. intervention. But 
the imperialist and the colonial bour- 
geoisies are two of the same kind : their 
interests are the same in the final an- 
alysis. The revolutionary doctor for- 
gets to mention that this "unwavering" 
Mexican government toi'tures revolu- 
tionaries and machine-guns peasant 
leaders with no guise of legality, or 
that the "non-intervening" Chilean 
government murders miners in revolt 
against U.S. copper mines. Although 
Mexico and Chile may utter unwaver- 
ing demands to imperialism they per- 
mit it to plunder their working class 
and peasantry through semi-colonial 

Cordero Michel shows a deep dis- 
trust for the working class by portray- 
ing it as having a "weak conception of 
its objectives." Also, he characterizes 
them as having been politically stunt- 
ed by the Ti-ujillo tyranny. All of these 
characterizations fall short— they are 
based on petty-bourgeois sophistry. If 
the masses had a "weak conception," 
they had it because the M14J and other 
movements did npt raise the mass level 
of consciousness. Instead, their bar- 
gaining with the bourgeoisie disarmed 
the working class and "politically 
stunted" them. The leftists never built 
a party able to lead the oppressed Do- 
minican classes to power. Instead, they 
came to them through the PRD, never 
as the class vanguard. Moreover, they 
shared the same fear of the masses 
that is ])i'oper in bourgeois politics. 

.Veed for Vanguard Party 

The Dominican uprising shows how 
sharp is the need of the vanguard pro- 
letarian party today. No event in the 
past forty years has disproved this 
historic and fundamental revolutionary 
principle. The need has not disappeared 
for "a revolution which makes no 
compromise with any single form of 
class rule, which does not stop at the 
democratic stage, which goes over to 
socialist measures and to war against 
reaction from without; that is, a rev- 
olution whose every successive stage is 
rooted in the preceeding one and which 
can end only in complete liquidation of 
class society." (From the introduction 
to Leon Trotsky's Permavevf Revolu- 
tion.) This is the only road to commu- 

It is because the same criminal mis- 
takes and betrayals of forty years of 
revisionism continue to repeat them- 
selves that we can say that there is 
no such thing as "new realities" in the 
class struggle. It is because the same 
circumstances (i.e. sharp class con- 
frontations) keep presenting themselves 
that we demand the approach followed 
by the party that took power in Russia 
in October 1917. It is because Stalinism 

and other petty-bourgeois ideologies 
haven't learned those lessons that the 
circumstances keep re-occurring and 
the working class continues to be be- 
trayed by the revisionists. 

The words of political shysters like 
Juan Antonio Corretjer and Dr. Emilio 
Cordero Michel bring to our minds sim- 
ilar apologies made by some of the be- 
trayers of the Spanish working class 
during their civil war. Though that 
struggle was a more decisive interna- 
tional class event, the parallel with the 
Santo Domingo Commune of 19G5 is 
not altogether irT-clcvant. 

Trotsky's Reply to POIIM 

The following paragraphs from 
Trotsky's "The Class, the Party and 
the Leadership" can very well refer to 
the role of the leftist leadership in the 
Santo Domingo uprising of 1965 as to 
the POUM leadership in the Spanish 
Civil War: 

"But it was precisely this party [the 
POUM] that played a fatal role in the 
development of the Spanish revolution. 
It could not become a mass party be- 
cause in order to do so it was fiist ne- 
cessary to overthrow the old parties 
and it was possible to overthrow them 
only by an irreconcilable struggle, by 
a merciless exposure of their bourgeois 
character. Yet the POUM while criti- 
cizing the old parties subordinated it- 
self to them on all fundamental ques- 
tions. It participated in the 'People's' 
election bloc; entered the government 
which liquidated workers' committees; 
engaged in a struggle to reconstitute 
this governmental coalition. . . . 

". . . the Catalonian were far 
more revolutionary than the POUM, 
which in turn was more revolution- 
ary than its leadership. In these con- 
ditions to unload the responsibility for 
false policies on the 'immaturity' of 
the masses is to engage in sheer char- 
latanism frequently resorted to by pol- 
itical bankrupts. 

"The historical falsification consists 
in this, that the responsibility for the 
defeat of the Spanish masses is un- 
loaded on the working masses and not 
on those parties which paralyzed or 
simply crushed the revolutionary move- 
ment of the masses. The attorneys of 
the POUM simj)ly deny the lesponsi- 
])ility of the leaders, in order thus to 
escape shouldering their own respon- 
sibility. This impotent philosophy, 
which seeks to reconcile defeats as a 
necessary link in the chain of cosmic 
developments, is completely incapable 
of posing and refuses to pose the ques- 
tion of such concrete factors as pro- 
grammes, paities, pej'sonalities that 
were the organisers of defeat. This 
philosophy of fatalism and prostration 
is diametrically opposed to Marxism as 
the theory of revolutionary action." ■ 

12 — 


Target City Program 

CORE in Baltimore 

With militant talk of "Black Power" 
and Negro self-defense, the Congress 
of Racial Equality convened its na- 
tional convention in Baltimore over the 
4th of July weekend. For those who 
had been looking to CORE to make 
significant changes in its perspectives 
and put forward a militant anti-Estab- 
lishment program of struggle, how- 
ever, the convention proved a disap- 
pointmen t. 

"Target City" Program 
To those who are unfamiliar with 
the civil rights movement in Balti- 
more, it should be pointed out that 
National CORE has declared Baltimore 
its "target city." This was first an- 
nounced 14 April by Floyd B. McKis- 
sick, CORE'S national director. He 
stated then that "all aspects of dis- 
crimination in this city [Baltimore] 
will be under scrutiny and will be at- 
tacked until significant changes take 

COliE was quite coricct in selecting 
Baltimore as one of the worst cities in 
the country from the point of view of 
the Negro. Most of the black popula- 
tion lives in inadequate slum housing. 
They are charged exorbitant rents by 
the slumlords who control Baltimore 
real estate. Unemi)loyment among 
black youth is high; according to 
(]ORE the unemployment rate for all 
Negro males is 12 per cent. The Balti- 
more city government is cynically in- 
different to the jiioblems of the black 
people, who make up 40 per cent of the 
total population of the city. The City 
Council has thicc times voted down 
an open occupancy i)ill. Yet Haltimorc 
is engaged in a vast program of urban 
renewal (read "Negro removal") which 
consists of the destruction of blocks 
of ghetto slums, to be i-eplaced by 
office buildings and expensive high-rise 

The Baltimore cliaptei' oC CORE has 
concentrated for some lime on the 
housing problem; the forces moved into 
Baltimore from National CORE have 
continued the approacii initiatefl by the 
local chapter. While CORE has cor- 
rectly seen inadequate housing as one 
of the Negro's most pressing problems, 
' CORE'S approach to this problem is 
completely inadequate and its efforts 
have been misplaced. Instead of or- 
ganizing the ghetto residents against 
the real source of the housing prob- 
lem, the parasitic slumlord, CORE has 

conducted a campaign for "open oc- 
cupancy" — the right to live in any 
dwelling one can afford. Thus, CORE 
launched a campaign to desegregate 
Horizon House, an expensive apart- 
ment building located near a ghetto 
area. Such a campaign benefits only 
the upper-middle-class Negro. 

"Black Power" 

At the convention "Black Power" 
seemed to mean all things to all peo- 
ple. Most honest militants chose to give 
it a revolutionary meaning, as had 
Fannie Lou Hamer and Stokely Car- 
michael in their keynote/ addresses. On 
the other hand, McKissick in his ad- 
dress spoke of "Black Power" as in- 
cluding consumer boycotts of auto 
firms in order to force manufacturers 
to grant franchises to black auto deal- 
ei s. It is difficult to see how this sort 
of "Black Power" will help the hun- 
dreds of thousands of unemployed Ne- 
gro woikers. 

y V 

Spartacist Local Directory 

AUSTIN. Box 8165, Univ. Sla., Austin, Texas 
78712. phone; GR 2-3716. 

BALTIMORE. Box 1345, Main P.O., Baltimore, 
AAd. 21203. phone: LA 3-3703. 

BERKELEY. Box 852. Main P.O., Berkeley, Calif. 

94701. phone: TH 8-7369. 
CHICAGO. Box 6044, Main P.O., Chicako, III. 

60680. phone: 728-9311. 
COLUMBUS. Box 3142, Univ. Sta., Columbus, 

Ohio 43210. phone; 291-8650. 

EUREUKA. Box 3061, Eureka, Calif. 95501. 
phone: 442-1423. 

HARTFORD. Box 57, Blue Hill Sta., Hartford, 
Conn. 06112. phone: 525-1257. 

HOUSTON. Box. 18434, Eastwood Sta., Houston, 
Texas 77023. phone: 926-9946. 

ITHACA. Box. 442, Ithaca, N.Y. 14851. 
LOS ANGELES. Box 4054. Term. Annex, Los An- 
geles, Calif. 90054. phone: 783-4793. 

MISSISSIPPI, (contact Ncvv Orleans) 

NEW ORLEANS. Box 8121, Gentilly Sta., New 
Orleans, La. 70122. phone; WH 4-1510. 

NEW YORK. Box 1377, G.P.O., New York City, 
N.Y. 10001. phones: National Office-UN 6- 
3093; Uptown— UN 5-6670; Downtown— 477- 

PHILADELPHIA, (contact New York) 
SAN FRANCISCO (contact Berkeley) 
SEATTLE (contact Berkeley) 
YOUNGSTOWN (contact New York) 


Much attention has been paid to 
CORE'S modifying its stand of abso- 
lute non-violence. The actual position 
which gave rise to all the fanfare, 
however, amounts to this : all of 
core's activities will be non-violent, 
but off the picket line one may exercise 
his right to self-defense. This amounts 
to no change at all in CORE'S tactics, 
since their members were never 
committed to pacifism when not on a 
CORE demonstration. The real posi- 
tion of the CORE leaders became clear 
when CORE asked the police to re- 
move Spai-tacist supporters who were 
outside the convention selling litera- 
ture advocating self-defense. 

Only a few weeks befoi-e, on 12 
June, Baltimore CORE leaders acted 
to remove from a protest march sev- 
eral Spartacist supporters who were 
carrying a sign with the demand, 
"Organized armed self-defense against 
racist terror." Baltimore police pre- 
vented the demonstrators from return- 
ing to the march and later attempted 
unsuccessfully to prevent them from 
attending a public rally held by CORE. 
Robert Kaufman, one of those removed 
from the march and well-knoAvn in 
Baltimore as a veteran of civil rights 
and anti-war struggles, was detained 
by the cops until the march was over 
on the grounds that they didn't know 
who ' he was and were "checking out 
his identity." 

These actions on the part of the 
Baltimore CORE leadership reveal 
their true position on Negro self-de- 
fense. It is precisely because of the 
real necessity in the Negro struggle 
for armed self-defense that the CORE 
leaders turned so promi)tly to the cops 
to have the Spartacist slogan removed 
from the line. 

Non-Violencc for Cops! 

One of the problems facing the civil 
rights movement is that Negroes have 
been robbed of both Negro and wvrk- 
iny-clasn history. Hundreds of strikes 
in this, country have been broken by 
the use of police and the armed forces 
in the service of the bourgeois state. 
Anyone who ))romises victory for the 
Negro struggle through non-violence is 
blind to the readiness with which the 
class enemy resorts to force. The cops 
are the armed tools of the capitalist 
state; their purpose is to keep work- 
ers, black and white, in line. 


— 13 


. . . CORE ; 

Spartacist Excluded 
Prior to the convention, CORE ex- 
tended an invitation to all intei-ested 
individuals and groups to address the 
convention body. Accepting- this invi- 
tation were Baltimore's mayor and the 
Black Muslims. However, when a Spai- 
tacist spokesman asked to address the 
convention, CORE leaders replied that 
no time could be found to schedule 
even a 5-minute address, although the 
call for speakers had appeared in a 
local newspaper article only the day 
before. Clearly the CORE leadership 
felt more at ease with persons who 
represent the Establishment than with 
those who advocate a revolutionary al- 
ternative .so that Neg-ro equality on all 
fronts can be made a reality. 

Spartacist Intervenes 

Since Spartacist was denied s i op- 
poi tunity to address the convention, a 
Spartacist leaflet was distributed out- 
side the convention site on the last day. 
The leaflet made the following points: 

1. The slogan "Black Power" is a step 
forward insofar as it admits that the 
question at issue is the struggle for 
political power and not simply a "mor- 
al issue" but is both incomplete and 
misleading' because black people will 
win power only when the working 
class, black and white, comes to power; 

2. an independent political organiza- 
tion must be formed, based on the civil 
rights, labor, anti-war and student 
movements — a Freedom Labor Party; 

3. the stiuggle for political power can- 
not be divided from the necessity of 
self-defense; 4. CORE must drop the 
anti-Communist restriction from its 
constitution. (A piotion by two dele- 
gates from St. Louis to drop the anti- 
Communist restriction and to exclude 
from CORE membership trade union 
buieaucrats and members of the capi- 
talist parties was defeated.) 

CORE Convention Lessons 
It is always to the advantage of the 
ruling class to keep sections of th^ 
working class divided so that they can- 
not unite against their common op- 
pressors and struggle for common 
goals. It is the task of all serious mili- 
tants to struggle to understand, explain 
and fight for a radical perspective and 
program which can unite black and 
white woi-kers around its demands. The 
recent riots in Chicago, Cleveland and 
other, drban ghettoes show the need 
for the civil rights movement to adopt 
a class struggle perspective so that the 
militancy of the black people can be 
channelled into a struggle for working- 
class political power. ■ 

At a conference held Saturday 9 
July in Seattle, it was unanimously 
voted to reconstitute the Freedom So- 
cialist Party of Washington State as 
a permanent membership organization. 
The party was first organized in 1964 
to place socialist candidates on the 
ballot and conducted a strong cam- 
paign for Clifton DeBerry for U.S. 
president, Ed Shaw for vice president, 
and Waymon Ware for Congress. Fol- 
lowing a vote to reconstitute the group, 
the general line of a program calling 
for world socialism, socialism in the 
U.S., defense of the colonial revolu- 
tion, 'socialist democracy, independent 
political action, and women's emanci- 
pation was adopted. 

Spartacist Greetings 

A representative of Spartacist de- 
livered greetings to the new group, in 
particular lauding their revolution- 
ary positions on the Negro and anti- 
war struggles, and calling for further 
discussion and collaboration between 
Spartacist and the FSP. ' Later the 
Spartacist representative urged the 
group to make conciete its stated in- 
ternationalism by recognizing the need 
to rebuild the Fourth International 
rather than relying on any section of 
the Chinese Maoist leadership. The 
group was also urged to treat all 
questions of working-class history and 
pjogram with the utmost integrity so 
that the working class can be fully 
armed in its struggle against the 
American bourgeoisie. Following adop- 
tion of the program, a sizeable num- 
ber of workers and young people reg- 
istered for membership in the new 

Many of the cadres of the FSP had 
previously been membei s of the Seattle 

The founding conference of the 
Spartacist League to be held over 
Labor Day will inaugurate a 
more tightly scheduled basis for 
publication of the Spartacist. Be- 
ginning with the first post-con- 
ference issue, Spartacist will be 
published as an '■eight-page tab- 
loid. Spartacist will continue to 
analyze the economic and political 
struggles which confront the 
working class, putting them in 
their historical perspective, and 
to involve itself in those struggles. 

branch of the Socialist Workers Party. 
The entire branch resigned from the 
SWF in Apiil of this year because of 
the SWP's increasing rit-htwaid mo- 
tion and sectarianism, and in paiticu- 
lar its betrayal of the anti-war strug- 
gle and its unquestioning acceptance of 
Black Nationalism. Further struggle 
inside the party was made impossible 
by the SWP's abandonment of internal 

y \ 

For our readers in 
Washington State: 

Freedom Socialist Party 
of Washington State 

Freeway Hall 
3815 Fifth Ave. N.E. 
Seattle, Washington 
ME 2-7449 
\ ^ 

Others joining the new group were 
long-time independent socialists. Greet- 
ings were delivered to the conference 
by the Independent Socialist Union, an 
autonomous youth organization which 
considers itself in political solidarity 
with the new group. 

Fraternal Relations 

Formal fraternal relations were es- 
tablished between the FSP and Spar- 
tacist for the next period. Spartacist 
will as a courtesy assist the FSP in 
the production and distribution of se- 
lected material and is inviting the 
FSP to participate fraternally in the 
Spartacist National Conference over 
Labor Day and in its pre-conference 
discussion. ■ L.IL 



Box 1377. G.P.O. 
New York. N. Y. 10001 

twelve issues — $1 
six issues — 50^ 

Name _. - — 

Address - 


14 — 



(Continued from Page 4) 
the big corporations that profit by the war." Even such 
firm supporters of capitalist politics and the Democi*ats 
as the Communist Party frequently use such phraseol- 
ogy, because it allows them to appear radical while at the 
same time remaining conveniently vague about the 
actual content of their political practice. What we need 
is not, as Levin puts it, "an independent movement, 
free from the corruption of the machine politics of the 
two major parties," but rather a class party of the 
working class. The difference may appear to be merely 
over terminology, but the conflicting choice of words 
reflects a basic divergence in political approach. The 
Levin campaign is unfortunately caught in the worst 
of all possible positions: while not making a fundamen- 
tal political break with capitalist politics, it neverthe- 
less takes a number of quite radical positions. Thus it 
can neither pile up a large "reform" vote in November, 
nor fundamentally raise the consciousness of those it 
does reach. It is to be hoped that the Levin campaign 
will embrace a principled class stance before Novem- 
ber, and like the other independent campaigns men- 
tioned, call for the building of a party of the working 

Build a Labor Party 

Will such a call be heeded? We frankly state thai we 
do not expect to see a labor party formed this Novem- 
ber. We do see the possibility, however, of the fulfill- 
ment of a far more realistic and necessary goal: the 
formation of a small but persistent circle of militants 
around the general program outlined above. For the 
working class is not homogeneous. It has its layer of 
reactionaries, its broad center, and its advanced layer 
of militant shop-stewards, tenants council chairmen, 
thoughtful youth, etc. It is to this strata that , our 
campaigns must be aimed, for through them the entire 
class will be moved. And with the proper consciousness 
among its ranks, the coming social struggles will put an 
end once and for all to American capitalism. ■ D.II. 

. . . GHETTO 

(Continued from Page IG"* 
do some damage." Such ofl^cial attempts to make 
SPONGE appear innocent are belied by the facts: 
roving bands of SPONGE racists attacked black i-esi- 
dents; white sniper and police fire killed 11-year-old 
Eric Dean and wounded black men and women. Yet all 
the spokesmen of the ruling class deplored "Negi-o 
violence" ; however, not one white person has been killed 
or seriously injured as a result of "Negro violence." 

Brooklyn DA Aaron Koota, who earlier had darkly 
accused outside black radical agitators, now admits that 
the Gallo brothers, Cosa Nostra heads in Brooklyn, 
were the ones able to "cool" the riot area. Yet the 
conclusion which should flow from this one fact — that 
this was a white-caused race riot — is ignored by Koota 
and other officials. They are still trying to ^rame-up 
Ernest Gallashaw, a 17-year-old black youth for mur- 
dering Eric Dean. Although Gallashaw was with more 

than 20 adults at the time of the shooting who testified 
to his innocence; although eye witnesses reported a 
car loaded with whites who shot at blacks, hitting 
Eric Dean; although Eric Dean's mother denies that 
Gallashaw could have shot her son ; although no cor- 
roborating evidence such as bullet or gun has been 
produced, Gallashaw has been indicted for first degree 
murder without a preliminary hearing. The frame-up 
certainly has another meaning — Mrs. Gallashaw has 
been an outspoken critic of the 75th Precinct and of 
the living conditions which blacks are subjected to — 
this is retribution to prevent further action on the part 
of blacks. 

Such attacks, whether by cops or by the increasingly 
evident fascists, show the absolute need for the ghet- 
toes to have organized programs of self-defense. The 
ghetto struggles must become consciously militant. 


The need for such conscious militancy is shown by 
the protest against the war, the most significant strug- 
gle that has taken place in Harlem since the '64 police 
riots. It is clear that the majority of Harlem residents 
are opposed to the war, although on many different 
levels. Most black workers oppose the war on the basis 
that black soldiei's should not be sent to be killed in 
Vietnam fighting for so-called freedom only to return 
to racial oppression in the U.S. 

Some of the most militant and radical elements ,in 
Harlem are in Afro-Americans Against the War in 
Vietnam. The AAAWV over a period of several months 
has been holding street meetings and distributing anti- 
war literature. One of its most significant activities 
was a march through Harlem and a rally on 30 May. 
The march, comprised of about 50 people, was planned 
on short notice, but succeeded in gaining the support 
of the many people lining Eighth Avenue and the spec- 
tators at the official Memorial Day parade. 

Despite the widespread dissatisfaction with the Viet- 
nam war, the Harlem anti-war movement has not yet 
been able to engage the masses in active opposition to 
the war. The Black United Action Front consisting of 
Harlem Unemployment Center, the AAAWV. Harlem 
Origanizing Committee, Progressive Labor, and Blacks 
Against Negative Dying, held another march and raily 
on 25 June. Even though many thousands of leaflets 
were distributed and sound trucks roving through the 
community announced the march, it was no bigger 
than the haphazardly prepared 30 May activity. Only 
the militants already in the movement participated in 
the 25 June March or in the BUAF organized feeder 
march from Harlem on G August. 

The masses feel that all those rallies and marches 
won't change anything. Apathy to the anti-war strug- 
gle exists because the black masses do not see the link 
between imperialist wars and thciir position in society. 
To involve a significant section of black working people 
in the struggle against the war, the movement must 
provvide a revolutionary consciousness by linking up 
the two struggles. 

The principal slogan which has been used by the 
Harlem anti-war movement, "Bring our Blac^ GIs 
Home," has not helped to build such a consciousness. 
The implication of this slogan is that black anti-war 
militants are not really against the war in itself and 



would not protest if this go^rnment used only white 
troops to kill the Vietnamese workers and peasants 
who are fighting American imperialism. 

The U.S. will continue to draft from the black and 
white working class because there will continue to be 
imperialist wars. The U.S. government, as do all capi- 
talist governments, wages wars for economic and po- 
litical reasons — to defend the capitalists' freedom of 
exploitation and to prevent working-class victories. 
(Such victories would be encouraging lessons to woi'k- 
ers and peasants in other countries, as well as to the 
black masses in this country, to throw off their chains.) 

Therefore, in order to end imperialist wars, the 
anti-war movement must become an anti-capitalist 
movement. The only type of protest that can ultimately 
end this or any other imperialist war is a revolutionary 
struggle of the working class against capitalism. 

As an alternative to "Bring Our Black GI's Home" 
we say: PMght racism in the army. End discrimination 
against blacks in the draft! End draft deferment for 
the white middle class! End the draft. Solidarity with 
the Viet Cong! Withdraw all American troops from 
Vietnam ! 


Even more dangerous to revolutionary consciousness 
than some of the tactics of the anti-war movement is 
the recent uproar about Black Power. When Stokely 
Carniichael first raised the slogan of "Black Power," 
it was a refiection of the practical efforts of the Student 
Non-Violent Co-ordinating Committee in Alabama. 
SNCC was trying to elect black candidates to office 
through an organization independent of the Democratic 
and Republican parties, the Lowndes County Freedom 
Organization, better known as the Black Panther Party- 
Black Power meant the use of independent politics, in 
places with a black majority, to give blacks local po- 
litical power. 

In the North, however, the issue is beiug debated in 
a vacuum, with none of the major civil rights organi- 
zations and others who give lip service, to the slogan 
struggling to make Black Power a reality. We have 
experienced, thus far, only a scramble for the lime- 
light among leaders of the various civil rights organi- 
zations and maneuvers by political hustlers to buy off 
blacks with radical words. They would force moi'e 
illusion^ upon the masses of black people in the ghct- 

An example of this trickery is the statement of Roy 
Innis, New York CORE chairman, that "Black Power 
today means people like Adam Clayton Powell, Jesse 
Gray and J. Raymond Jones." Jones is a well-established 
Harlem Democrat. Gray sold out a rent strike move- 
ment and the people of Harlem during the 10G4 police 
riots. His capitulation was emphasized when he tried 
to enter the Deniocralic primary i)i the sununer of t!>G5, 
even though he had called for independent political 
action right after the 'G4 elections. 

Congressman Adam C. Powell is a political hustler 
who has called for "audacious" Black Power— blacks 
will "move iion-violeiitly with whites into the main- 
stream of American life" and "whatever the percentage 
'of Negroes in a community they must have at least the 
same percentage of jobs, appointments, judgeships and 

Power meana nothing less than economic and political 

control and an army and police force to defend that 
control. The cry for Black Power by militants in the 
civil rights and other movements is meaningless unless 
they struggle for the economic and independent political 
power of black working people. And the struggle to 
obtain that power needs a program of organized self- 
defense. Black Power means a social revolution. If 
honest militants don't recognize 'the real meaning of 
Black Power, the ruling class and its police forces do. 
That is why Vice-President Humphrey rushed to the 
NAA(]P convention to denounce Black Power as "black 
I'acism" and to align the government with the token 
reformist goals of that organization. 

The first step toward obtaining Black Power is to 
break all ties with the ruling class. It requires a blade 
break-aicaii from Ike Democratic Party. The formation 
of the Black Panther Party in Alabama was a good step 
in this direction. But Stokely Carniichael, while shout- 
ing Black Power and independence from the Democrats 
in Alabama, is tying the movement to them nationally. 
SNCC gave active support to candidates running in 
the Democratic primaries in the state of Mississippi, 
And Carniichael is one of the sponsors of the National 
Conference for New Politics, which is "looking for a 
presidential candidate committed to peace in Vietnam" 
like "Robert Kennedy . . . whose intei-ests i)ar;i1lol .our 
own." This is the Kennedy who. as Attdrncy Gern ral, 
protected the racist killers in a whole series oi nuiideis 
and bombings in the South. 

Black Democrats sitting in Coiigiess or on some 
city council cannot change the conditions of the masses 
of people. These black Democrats enrich only them- 
selves as agents of Johnson's party. As long as they can 
prolong the illusion that the masses can use the Demo- 
cratic Party to change their conditions, they can deliver 
the vote from the ghettoes. But such Democrats always 
desert the masses at critical points, as did the Negro 
councilman in Cleveland who called for the .National 
Guard to suppress the people of Hough. The l ole of a 
political party is to gain and maintain slate power for 
a particular class. This is what the Hlack Panther 
Party must do both North and South. The Democratic 
and Republican parties are instruments of bourgeois 
power — the oppressed cannot use the opiiressor's in- 
strument of oppression to free themselves. 

In the struggle to obtain Black Power, tlie Key ques- 
tion is not color but program. The question that should 
be raised is which blacks are to have power- -the black 
working class or the Wingates and Powells struggling 
to become a black bourgeoisie. To achieve Black Power, 
a mass movement must be built in all the ghettoes, 
North and South, with a militant program of struggle 
designed to take the power away from the slumlords, 
plantation owners and sweat shop bosses and their pro- 
tectors, the brutal racist sherilJ's and cojis. 

Tlic conditions of black working people in this coun- 
try are an intensilicd expression of the i <>iii|it ions (>f 
the working class as a whole. Thus, when a mass move- 
ment for black liberation conies into being with a con- 
crete program to achieve black political and economic 
power — for a shorter work week to end uneniidoyment, 
a higher minimum wage — it will also add inspiration 
to the struggle of white workers, both southern share- 
croppers and luu'thern factcny workers. The working 
class struggles, black and white, can be linked together 
because both struggle against the same exploiters. ■ 




From 1960 to 1964, there had been a rise in civil 
rights struggle in the Northern ghettoes, especially 
New York. But the 1964 Harlem police riots success- 
fully smashed the existing mass organizations. Since 
1964 the struggle has taken various ineffective forms 
and the difficulties have been intensified by direct as- 
sault on the ghetto. 


Continuously for the past two years the rulers of this 
country have been conducting a psychological war 
against the black communities. The campaign has con- 
sisted of newspaper and magazine articles designed to 
whip up white racist hysteria against black, so-called 
extremists. Such articles were combined with police 
frame-ups and "official" violence. 

It began in earnest in 1964 with the NY Times cre- 
ation of a Black-Muslim-directed, dope-selling, karate- 
trained gang of 400 "Blood Brothers," whose main ac- 
tivity was supposedly the maiming and killing of 
whites. This fantasy led to the jailings, beatings and 
frame-ups of many Harlem youths, among them the 
Harlem Six. Then came the all-out reign of terror — the 
police riot provoked by the police murder of James 

In the winter of '64, Esquire magazine carried an 
article entitled "The Red Chinese American Negro." 
This article, written by a former partisan of the strug- 
gle for black liberation, sell-out William Worthy, 
claimed the conspiratorial existence of a black revolu- 
tionary underground, plotting with Mao-tse Tung to 
unleash mass violence in this country. This "news" was 
vei'ified by the bomb-plot frame-up of black militants, 
planned and instigated by a black cop. In February 
196.5, Malcolm was assassinated — the subsequent "in- 
vestigation" and official cover-up made it clear that no 
matter who pulled the tiiggei-, the government had 
been involved. 

Then came HARYOU's cool summer of '65. HAR- 
YOU's boasted achievements were four vestpocket 
parks, 371 trees planted, day camps for children and 
summer jobs for youths who were sent back to starve 
during the winter. The government's chief trouble- 
shooter in Harlem, Livingston Wingate, gets paid $500 
a week to keep Harlem cool. But when the HARYOU 
books were being investigated and Wingate thought 
he might lose his job, he started a scare campaign about 
the existence of a group of teen-agers in HARYOU, 
called the Five Percenters, who had beaten white teach- 
ers and would unleash massive violence if he were 
fired. Thus he contributed to the terror campaign at 
the same time that he planted trees to "beautify" rfar- 

The U.S. government and local officials were very 
successful not only in buying off all the reactionary 
nationalists who sided with the cops in '64 and now 
have high positions in HARYOU; not only in pre- 
venting the struggle of a section of the masses by giv- 
ing them summer jobs selling "Organize for power and 
.dignity through HARYOU-ACT" to their neighbors; 

but also in confusing a section of the otherwise militant 

Even after Harlem was cooled for 1965, the terror 
campaign continued. In June 1966 Life magazine car- 
ried an article entitled "Plot to Get Whitey" about 
"Red hot young Negroes" in groups like RAM and 
UHURU, armed and planning to kill whites, receiving 
material aid from China and Cuba. In the meantime 
Police Commissioner Leary increased the Tactical Pa- 
trol Force (NYC's elite .stormtroopers) to 690 men and 
announced that they were receiving special training in 
riot and crowd control. 

1966 Fascist Riots 

This is the background for the 1966 riots and racial 
clashes in ghetto areas, among them Cleveland, Chicago, 
East New York, Amityville, Baltimore, Philadelphia, 
Omaha, Boston, Jacksonville and Perth Amboy. This 
summer a new element has been added to the familiar 
police assaults — the cops have had the support of fas- 
cist-style elements, many proudly flaunting the swas- 

The riot in East New York typifies the 1966 brand 
of racial warfare. The Society for the Prevention of 
Negroes Getting Everything (SPONGE); a white ra- 
cist organization based in an Italian neighborhood, 
started a race riot in the adjoining black and Puerto 
Rican slums. While the police didn't start this one, 
they sided with the racists who conducted anti-black 
picket' lines and attempted to promote fights between 
blacks and Puerto Ricans. A cop queried by the Times 
said, "They are not anything organized like CORE. 
You might say SPONGE was their way of expressing 
their sentiments. I wouldn't call them big troublemak- 
ers or cop fighters, but in a tense situation, they could 

(Continued on Page 14) 

Founding Conference of Spartacist League . . . Pages 10, 11 








The Red Guards, bearers of Mao Tse-tung's thought, 
instruments cf the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolu- 
tion, have answered their critics: "Revolutionaries are 
Monkey Kings, their golden rods are powerful, their 
supernatural powers far-reaching and their magic om- 
nipotent, for they possess Mao Tse-tung's great invinc- 
ible thought. We wield our golden rods, display our 
supernatural powers and use our magic to turn the old 
world upside down, smash it to pieces, pulverize it, 
create chaos and make a tremendous mess, the bigger 
the better! We must do this to the present revisionist 
middle school attached to the Tsinghua University, 
make rebellion in a big way, rebel to the end! We are 
bent on creating a tremendous proletarian uproar, and 
hewing out a proletarian new world!" 

And Peking Review (9 Sept. 1966), the authoritative 
foreign-language political organ of the Chinese govern- 
ment, approves. 

Bureaucratic Dangers 

Such grotesqueries are symptoms of the dangers a 
bureaucracy, once its power is consolidated, poses to 
any workers state. When such a bureaucracy attempts 
to build socialism in one country, surrounded by the 
pressures of imperialism and cut off from the world 
revolution, it can view the economic and political needs 
of socialist development only in terms of maintaining 
its own privileged position. The position of the Chinese 
bureaucracy is apparently now so ossified that it threat- 
ens to destroy most of the gains made by the third 
Chinese revolution. If, as the above quote would indi- 
cate, the Chinese bureaucracy has chosen chaos and 
mysticism as the means of curing China's problems, we 
can validly question whether there was any other choice 
open to this "Marxist" bureaucracy, short of its own 
removal through a workers revolution which would in- 
stitute soviet democracy and the whole range of asso- 
ciated fundamental advances. 

The first Chinese revolution of 1911, a bourgeois- 
democratic movement led by Sun Yat-sen's Kuomintang 
(KMT), was unable to complete the two most pressing 
tasks confronting it: agrarian reform and bourgeois- 
nationalist unification of the country. The subsequent 
histoiT of the KMT under Chiang Kai-shek totally con- 
firms Trotsky's general analysis of such a revolution: 

MAO's HEAD floats down tlie Yangtze while 
Stalin's has come to rest on a Budapest street. 

"Not a single one of the tasks of the 'bourgeois' revolu- 
tion can be solved in these backward countries under 
the leadership of the 'national' bourgeoisie, because the 
latter emerges at once with foreign support as a class 
alien or hostile to the people. Every stage in its develop- 
ment binds it only the more closely to the foreign fi- 
nance capital of which it is essentially the agency." 
(Introduction to Isaacs' The Tragedy of the Chinese 

Revolutionary Defeat 

The defeat of the second Chinese revolution of 1927- 
29 occurred in great measure due to the policy of Sta- 
lin's Comintern, which subordinated the Chinese Com- 
munist Party (CCP) to the bourgeois-dominated KMT. 
Despite a series of bloody massacres of workers and 
CCP cadres carried out by Chiang in 1926-27, Stalin 
continued to look on him as a revolutionary. More cor- 
rectly, Stalin wanted a "friendly" bourgeois govern- 
ment on the southeastern border, and to that end he 
sacrificed the Chinese workers movement. (Although in 
1927 he was to "discover" that the person "responsible" 
for these defeats was CCP chairman Ch'en Tu-hsiu, 
from 1924 to 1927 Stalin refused to listen to Ch'en's 
objections to the Comintern policies.) Only when Stalin 
and the other bureaucrats, trying to consolidate their 
(Continued on Page 5) 

Hungarian Tragedy— Ten Years After . . . Page 8 



A Bimonthly Organ of Revolutionary Marxism 

EDITORS: James Robertson; Managing, Helen Janacek; 
Wesf Coast, Geoffrey White; Southern, Joseph Vetter. 

Subscription: 50c yearly. Bundle rates for 10 or more copies. 
Main address: Box 1377, G.P.O., New York, N. Y. 10001. Tele- 
phone: UN 6-3093. Western address: P.O. Box 852, Berkeley, Calif. 
94701. Southern address: P.O. Box 8121, New Orleans, La. 70122. 
Telephone: 522-2194. 

Published by the Central Committee of the Sportacist League. 
Opinions expressed in signed articles do not necessarily represent 
an editorial viewpoint. 

Number 8 as Nov.-Dec. 1966 

Revolution and 

G. Healy, general secretary of the British Socialist 
Labour League, and his publicists in the American Com- 
mittee for the Fourth International are evidently striv- 
ing to compensate with volume for what they lack in 
cogency. Determined to do a "job" on the Spartacist 
League, Healy's efforts to discredit our "clique of petty- 
bourgeois friends" is frankly impressive: very heavy 
coverage in five issues of Wohlforth's Bulletin, four 
of the SLL's Newsletter, sections of the August issue 
of Fonrtli Internatiunal, and a 38-page pamphlet re- 
printing the first six attacks. As if the split itself did 
not have enough of a Kafkaesque quality, Healy and 
his ACFI mouthpiece accuse Spartacist of "sectarian- 
ism," "declaring war," and "pouring out slanders and 
lies" — in replying to the attack which the Bulletin in- 

But the split's grotesqueness must not obscure its 
seriousness. The Hansen pamphlet Healy 'Reconstructs' 
the Fourth I yiter national, published by the SWP, only 
suggests the value of the breach to the revisionists. 
Healy and Wohlforth, with whose organizations the 
Spartacist League remains in essential political agree- 
ment, actually seem to gloat that unity with us was not 
consummated ; yet we have already expressed our bit- 
terness over "the temporary set-back to the world move- 
ment and to our prospects in the U.S.," "the resultant 
aid and comfort given to the SWP and to Pabloist re- 
visionists internationally," and the "delight to Stalin- 
ists of all varieties who have for years attacked Trot- 
skyists as unprincipled splitters." (Letter of Spartacist 
leader H. Turner to Healy, 30 April 1966.) 

The Calculated Lie 

A set-back of another sort has also resulted. ACFI's 
efforts to rationalize Healy's anti-Leninist organiza- 
tional practices have driven these comrades into a truly 
appalling anti-Marxist direction: the conscious em- 
bracement of calculated deception as political methodol- 

ogy. Our comrades formerly in the Socialist Workers 
Party first fully tasted Wohlf9rth's talents in 1963 
when, as de facto party prosecutor, his lying accusa- 
tions were the basis for their expulsions. The April 
conference debacle has again revealed Wohlforth's and 
Healy's expertise. Striving defensively to project the 
image that everybody is a bit of a liar, they challenge 
our assertion that James Robertson, Spaetacist editor 
and a delegate, was expelled from the conference for 
refusing to acknowledge our "petty-bourgeois" nature 
and other characterizations. These charges constituted 
the bizarre motivation of a demand for an "apology" 
for Robertson's absence from a session. 

ACFI brands our version as "mythology"; but they 
and Healy have inadvertently let slip a glimmer of the 
truth. The 12 September Bulletin, while ignoring Rob- 
ertson's several apologies to the delegates for an unin- 
tentional infraction of "protocol," describes the ulti- 
matum thus: "Only when he continued to refuse to 
acknowledge that he had caused the conference to be 
inconvenienced was his attitude characterized as that 
of a petty-bourgeois. . . . But he continued, for the next 
24 hour period of the conference ... to refuse to apol- 
ogize." Healy's letter of 15 April to Turner picks up 
the story : "At the end of this session . . . Robertson 
was then asked if he would carry out the uanimous re- 
quest of the Congress and apologize for his attitude 
towards the Congress. He refused to do this and was 
accordingly asked to leave. . : ." (Our emphasis.) 
Healy's docile words fail to convey the full flavor of 
this verbal hate session, culminating in our delegate's 

Wohlforth and Struggle 

Our ACFI comrades have been particularly hard put 
CO defend the allegations that we "write off the white 
working class as quiescent and oppose any agitational 
work," especially since this charge emanates from a 
group which in its entire existence has issued three 
leaflets directed to situations of struggle — and two of 
these were issued jointly with Spai-tacist, which has 
more than 90 of its own to its credit ! Wohlforth's isola- 
tion from civil rights struggles, as from the labor move- 
ment, is reflected in his obsequious "Open Letter* to 
SNCC" (Bulletin, 10 October) and more significantly 
in ACFI's incapacity to recruit a single Black member, 
Appai-ently as a wishful consolation, the Bulletin prints 
a photograph of a tin-hatted Black worker as its "Labor 
Scope" mascot; and while claiming to be "printed en- 
tirely by union labor," the paper lacks the authority of 
a printers' trade label — a suggestion of cynical ignor- 
ance of even the anti-scab traditions of militant trade 

Having many times acknowledged the Spartacist 
League's modest but real involvement in mass struggle, 
our ACFI comrades had to explain their post-confer- 
ence public fabrication. After first expressing uncon- 
cern, ACFI members tragically began to suggest that 
dishonesty as such is correct in principle. On 17 Sep- 
tember, at ACFI's first public function since their April 
rupture with us, a Coordinating Committee member 
privately boasted, in the presence of unaflfiliated observ- 
ers, that ACFI would stoop to any debasement, to safe- 
guard its connection with Healy. Similar cynical admis- 
sions began to accumulate. Finally on 2 October, in the 
first of several classes on "Leninism" (actually an 


Aesopian re-run of the split aimed at 
hardening ACFI's membership) Wohl- 
forth codified his "method." Discussing 
Trotsliy's 1925 denial of Lenin's Testa- 
ment, Wohlforth acknowledged that 
Trotsky misled his comrades. But, said 
Wohlforth, exalting this desperate eva- 
sion into a principle, "TROTSKY 

The fact that Trotsky's disavowal 
was committed at the decision of the 
leading body of the Opposition, and 
under terms dictated by Stalin, did not 
prevent it from accruing heavily to 
Stalin's advantage and producing no 
little disorientation among Trotsky's 
followers. But the profoundly cynical 
assertion of deception as a principle — 
which represents Wohlforth's abdica- 
tion of any intention to function as a 
revolutionist — was learned from Healy, 
not Trotsky. In fact, Wohlforth takes 
that action which our opponents have 
sought to exploit as the "core" of Trot- 
skyist practice and himself turns it 
into the essence of Trotskyist practice! 

The minuteness of Wohlforth's liter- 
ary sect does not deflect from the pow- 
er of this poison. What is at stake is 
no less than whether the future Lenin- 
ist vanguard — of which we today are 
the progenitors — will have the capacity 
to carry through the task of leading 
working people to revolutionary vic- 
tory. But the proletariat's conscious 
understanding of its tasks, central to 
Marxism, is only nourished to the ex- 
tent that the woi'kers realize the clear 
and sober truth — including about our- 
selves and our opponents. 

Treating this problem in Their 
Morals and Ours, Trotsky reasoned: 
"The liberation of the workers can 
come only through the workers them- 
selves. There is, therefore, no greater 
crime than deceiving the masses, palm- 
ing off defeats as victories, friends as 
enemies, bribing workers' leaders, fab- 
ricating legends, staging false trials, 
in a word, doing what the Stalinists 
do. These means can serve only one 
end : lengthening the dpmination of a 
clique already condemned by history. 
But they cannot serve to liberate the 

The Bulletin itself of 29 March 1966, 
describing the "political methodology" 
of Progressive Labor, anticipated its 
own tragedy: "It has been said by 
someone who probably learned the hard 
way, 'never trust anyone who lies to 
you.' ... It would be thought that any- 
one belonging to an organization that 
aspires to revolutionary victory of the 
working class would examine the his- 
tory . . . and see the political method 
of the lie as an important component 
of the reformist degeneration of the 
Communist parties throughout the 

Wohlforth's Method 
Armed with this "method," Wohl- 
forth has had no difficulty in subordi- 

nating theory and truth to his tactical 
needs. Thus, to resurrect the slander 
of Spartacist's denial of the working 
class, Wohlforth in the Bulletin of 10 
October isolates a quotation from our 
last issue referring to the New Left- 
ists' "image of an apathetic white 
working class" — in order to attribute 
this view to us in the very article by 
us calling for "arousing the working- 
class" to a political struggle against 
capitalism! Similarly Wohlforth, like 
Healy, relishes in endlessly slandering 
individuals who break with the move- 
ment. Thus Wohlforth vituperates 
Shane Mage while printing in the 24 
October Bulletin, without a single ac- 
knowledgement, an article on Hungary 
almost wholly adopted and plagiarized 
from Mage's work! 

Our experience with Healy's and 
Wohlforth's opportunism, which predi- 
cates such dishonesty, dates back to' 
our original split in 1962. Rewriting 
the history of his relations with us in 
a series, "Problems of the Fourth In- 
ternational" {Newsletter, 22 and 29 
October), Healy serves up as "educa- 
tional assistance" the ultimatum given 
our comrades then in the SWP — not 
simply to accept the discipline of h*s 
group with which they had only close 
but ill-defined relations, but to renounce 
their views before the party. Healy 
explains that he was "opposed to any 
attempt to sharpen up the internal 
faction struggle inside the SWP . . ." 
{Newsletter, 22 October), and, through 
Wohlforth at the time, circulated 
charges of our comrades' "indiscipline" 
and "split perspective" {SWP Discus- 
sion Bulletin, June 1963) ; yet Healy's 
29 October version endeavors to prove 
our alleged anti-internationalism by 
citing that we were "ready to accept 
SWP discipline"! Healy's contradiction 
reflects his flip-flop at the time: Healy 
was willing to police our tendency in 
exchange for a deal with Dobbs; when 
this proved fruitless, Healy had Wohl- 
forth drop the "party loyalty" line and 
virtually invite expulsion. Our com- 
rades, on the other hand, steered one 
straight course until their expulsion : 
a principled, vigorous struggle inside 
the SWP for a revolutionary program. 

While Healy largely just rehashes 
the Bulletin's well-worn lies, these ar- 
ticles further reveal the man's Stalin- 
ist-conditioned idea of an International : 
not a disciplined collective of peer sec- 
tions, guided by a democratically-se- 
lected center, but a network of puppets 
obedient to Healy for his "revolution- 
ary integrity and rich experience." A 
dubious integrity, indeed, after the 
"rich experience" of "advice" to our 
"goodselves" like the following: "We 
do not want to impose [our proposals] 
on you. If you do not like to accept 
them, then there is no need to accept 
them. All those comrades who do ac- 
cept them will be considered as part of 

an international tendency " (Healy's 

letter to Revolutionary Tendency of 

SWP^12 November 1962.) 

As'^the servant reflects the master, 
Wohlforth exposes the political charac- 
ter of Healy; and their performance 
as micro-careerists repudiates their 
literary Leninism. The latest manifes- 
tation of ACFI's left-centrist behavior 
has been their electoral positions: in 
New York City they supported the mid- 
dle-class Hal Levin campaign; mean- 
while ACFI's man on the West Coast 
caved in to the "boycott" line of the 
Scheer liberals — placing ACFI to the 
right of even the National Guardian, 
which supported the SWP's write-in 
campaign. Such* opportunism links to 
Healy's own shortcomings which we 
would have sought to correct within 
the International Committee had we 
not been expelled: especially his ten- 
dency towards a Great-Power insensi- 
tivity on the national question; the 
SLL's tactical vacillations between un- 
principled concessions and violent sec- 
tarianism; and the Healy regime's 
anti-Leninist bureaucratism. ACFI, 
parodying Trotsky, begs these ques- 
tions by "defying" us to explain the 
"social roots" of Healy's practices. The 
Voix Ouvriere comrades have observed 
that while a bureaucracy such as the 
'Stalinists' has a basis in social and eco- 
nomic causes, including the conserva- 
tive protection of material privilege, 
Healy's bureaucratism is a product 
primarily of his incapacity as a revo- 

Trotskyism and Truth 

While Healy's practices, aped by 
Wohlforth, increase our opponents' 
vulnerability, the Spartacist League 
takes no pleasure in the business; the 
29 March Bulletin's sober commentary 
on PL ironically well foretold our pres- 
ent assessment of ACFI: ". . . We do 
not simply gloat over the self-destruc- 
tion of a political organization. Pro- 
gressive Labor's behavior can have no 
other eflect than to isolate and de- 
moralize its own membership as well 
as creating skepticism and mistrust in 
the minds of workingclass and student 
militants toward communist organi- 
zation and struggle. All in all, a crimi- 
nal waste!" 

Yet Wohlforth assails us for not 
"closing ranks with the IC" by denying 
that a crime was committed! There is 
compounded irony here — the Spartacist 
League is politically much closer to the 
IC than, for example, to Voi.v Ouvriere, 
with whom we have strong diff^erences 
over their state-capitalist position on 
the Sino-Soviet states, their tendency 
towards syndicalism, and their errone- 
ous assessment of the Fourth Interna- 
tional. But we, like VO, recognize that 
true solidarity with the International 
Committee forces requires that we help 
it purge its ranks of criminals, not 
deny their deeds. The honest engage- 
ment of this task itself facilitates the 
rebuilding of a Leninist Fourth Inter- 
national. ■ 


Texas Farm Strike 

Austin: This summer a farm work- 
ers' .union in the Rio Grande Valley- 
called its first strike; it was lost, but 
the battle to organize the lowest-paid 
workers in Texas has only begun. The 
AFL-CIO has made perftmctory at- 
tempts to organize the Valley field 
workers for five years, but serious ef- 
forts only began in May when local 
men started the Independent Workers 
Association. The IWA was joined by 
Eugene Nelson, staff" member of the 
National Farm Workers Association, 
while he was in Texas to get support 
for the boycott of Schenley products. 
When Schenley recognized the NFWA 
on 5 April, Nelson decided to stay and 
help organize a similar union in Stai-r 

Strike Called 
Soon after Nelson's arrival the union 
leaders began organizing the workers 
at night rallies in Rio Grande City; at 
the 29 May meeting to elect officers 
there were over 400 members. By the 
following day. Nelson claimed 1,000 
members, and a strike was called for 
1 June — if the growers refused the un- 
ion's demands for recognition and the 
$1.25 minimum wage for the field work- 
ers. By 2 June Los Puertos, La Casita 
and Suntex farms were struck and 
picket lines set up. Although the union 
leaders claimed that 95 per cent of the 
workers manned the picket lines, they 
stated that there was no hope of halt- 
ing the melon harvest — and the grow- 
ers claimed there was no strike at all, 
merely picketing by unemployed work- 
ers and "outside agitators." To assist 
the workers who scabbed, the growers 
brought over Mexican "commuters" 
early in the mornings before the picket 
lines were set up. Although the AFL- 
affiliated produce packers from Califor- 
nia honored the picket lines, the grow- 



Box 1377. G.P.O. 
New York. N. Y. 10001 

twelve issues — $1 
six issues — 50^ 



ers began training local labor as pack- 
ers, and announced that no delay in the 
harvest was anticipated. 

Confused by the partial failure of 
the picketing to affect the growers, 
Nelson advocated individual "civil dis- 
obedience"; he himself was arrested for 
blocking a moving produce train. Such 
tactics had no effect on the employers. 
On 2 June the growers obtained an in- 
junction against mass picketing of the 
farms in Starr County. NBlson and his 
lieutenants called off the pickets — and 
the strike was dead. (The workers 
were not so legalistically minded — the 
FBI investigated "complaints of in- 
timidation and threatened violence" 
against the scabs!) 

The union put out a strike newsletter 
entitled "Voz de la Gente." The first 
one (30 June) reveals some roots of the 
strike failure. It contains an amalgam 
of good explanations of bosses' tactics 
for strike-breaking, some ultra-radical 
dema,nds and opportunist appeals to the 
reactionary religious background of the 
workers. One quotation will illustrate 

"The people of Starr County have 
shown the people of Texas and the 
world that they are the sons of Zapata. 
They are marching under the banner 
of our country, our union and the Vir- 
gin of Guadelupe for JUSTICE NOW." 

When it became clear that the strike 
was lost. Nelson began to accept the 
support of organized religion, deflect- 
ing the energy of the workers to "sym- 
bolic," rather than economic, actions. 
A series of marches was begun to pro- 
test the plight of the workers and their 
families. The first of these, on 7 June, 
was headed by union members carrying 
U.S. and Mexican flags and pictures of 
"Our Lady of Guadelupe," and ended 
in mass in a church in Garciasville. 

What is the role of the Church in 
this struggle? Perhaps the most reac- 
tionary segment of the ruling stratum 
in the capitalist world is the church. 
Not only the churches but the very 
existence of religion itself is an im- 
pediment to the development of class 
consciousness. Marx, in the "Introduc- 
tion to the Critique of Hegel's Phil- 
osophy of Right," stated: ". . . Religion 
is the sigh of the oppressed creature, 
the heart of a heartless world, just as 
it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. 
It is the opium of the people. The 
abolition of religion as the illusory 
happiness of the people is required for 
their real happiness." The support 
which workers may receive from the 
churches should be used gingerly arid 
viewed with suspicion. As a union be- 
comes more and more militant, and 
comes into greater conflict with the ex- 
isting society, the religious elements 

will try to restrain it. 

The gradual takeover of the farm 
union by religious types is only part of 
the picture. The leadership of the union 
has not so far proven itself capable of 
uniting all the Valley workers behind a 
militant program. Nelson came into the 
valley with good intentions, but little 
experience, and has not been able to 
break loose from local religious and 
conservative control. Margil Sanchez, 
IWA leader, was opposed to affiliation 
with the NFWA because of "revolu- 
tionaries" among its leadership; he 
prides himself that "every leader of the 
Rio Grande City union has signed an 
oath saying he is not a member of any 
organization found to be subversive by 
the .Federal Government." (San Anto- 
nio Express, 6 July 1966.) 

The union has also been weakened 
by its nationalist orientation and lack 
of a working-class program. Many 
members are unemployed and are 
therefore limited to protest action 
rather than actions with significant 
economic leverage. The union leader- 
ship has failed to advance any pro- 
gram other than higher wages. A 
strong union cannot be built on wage 
demands alone, but must recognize the 
interests of the working class. For the 
union to grow and accomplish even 
minimal goals, there should be an ori- 
entation to all the farm workers in 
Texas and cooperation with any simi- 
lar efforts elsewhere in the South. 

Texas Labor Party 

A strong farm workers' union could 
also form the nucleus for a labor par- 
ty, a necessary beginning step towards 
the achievement of workers' political 
power. A Committee for a Texas La- 
bor Party was formed last April but 
has failed to function, due to its isola- 
tion from trade union and civil rights 
struggles, and its poor understanding 
of working-class politics. It was com- 
posed of liberals, unaffiliated radicals 
and Stalinists who follow the line of 
the Communist Party. 

The reactivation of the Committee 
working in conjunction with the farm> 
union would be immensely helpful to 
both efforts. The union would gain a 
great advantage in its fight if it raised 
the demand for a labor party and im- 
plemented this demand in the Valley 
by running its own independent candi- 
dates on a working-class program, 
against the Republicans ar^d Demo- 
crats, Mexican-American or Anglo. 
The Committee would gain tremen- 
dously by haying the support of a un- 
ion behind it and would be able to 
coordinate any other efforts toward a 
labor party from within other un- 
ions. ■ 


. . . MAOISM 

(Continued from Page 1) 
own position in Russia, were embar- 
rassed by the pointedly correct analy- 
ses of the Left Opposition, did the 
Comintern call for the Canton uprising. 
This adventure, dictated from the top, 
at a time when the workers movement 
had already been bloodily defeated, 
ended in the still bloodier Canton com- 

This is the heritage with which Mao 
associates himself — the betrayal of 
workers movements by Stalin's zig-zag 
policies of bureaucratic self-interest 
and the still-born bourgeois-democratic 
revolution of Sun Yat-sen. 

During the 30s and 40s, Mao kept 
refurbishing the alliance with the 
KMT — a "patriotic" alliance designed 
to defeat the Japanese bourgeoisie by 
aiding the Chinese bourgeoisie — despite 
continuous betrayals on the part of 
Chiang. After the Japanese were de- 
feated, Mao and the People's Libera- 
tion Army (PLA) dampened peasant 
efforts at land reform, so as not to dis- 
turb Chiang and his landlord backers. 
Only when Chiang rebuffed the last at- 
tempt at a coalition government in 
1947 did the PLA issue its own call: 
for a "democratic coalition govern- 

The nature of this "democratic coali- 
tion government" can be seen from the 
actions of the CCP as it was driving 
out Chiang: in response to workers 
uprisings in Shanghai and other cities 
the CCP put a ban on strikes, institut- 
ed compulsory arbitration, slashed 
wages and lengthened the working day 
to appease the "nationalist" bour- 

"Bloc of Four Classes" 
The CCP came to power in this third 
Chinese revolution representing a co- 
alition of classes. It introduced into the 
newly forming workers state many of 
the old contradictions from the bour- 
geois system. Having to rely on the 
workers and peasants to sever China's 
dependence on imperialism, the bu- 
reacracy also believed it had to rely on 
the patriotic "nationalist" bourgeoisie 
to guarantee its own survival. Balanc- 
ing between all these classes, the bu- 
reaucracy has been forced ,more and 
more to eleva'te itself above the popula- 
tion, to assume the role of arbiter be- 
tween classes, eventually to take on the 
cover of infallibility. 

By 1966, the infallibility had slipped 
— Mao, Lin Piao & Co. must now resort 
to wide-scale purges to silence the 
doubts. Ih defiance of party rules, there 
has been no party conference since 
1955, and the previous CC plenum was 
in 1962. Of the 12 men listed as Politi- 
cal Bureau meiiihers in 1955, only four, 
Mao, Lin, Chou En-lai and Kang 
Sheng, are still on thfe PB. Peng Teh- 
huai was purged in 1960, Peng Chen in 

June 1966. Liu Shao-shi, Chu Teh, 
Chen Yun and Teng Hsiao-ping have 
all been "demoted" in recent months, 
contrary to party procedure for such 
changes. In addition three others are 
no longer listed and may also have 
been demoted. 

Between several hundred and several 
thousand other top cadre have been 
purged' so far, the concentration fall- 
ing on the military, high ranking party 
officials, including the whole Peking 
Municipal Committee, university pro- 
fessors and administrators, and econo- 
mists. In addition the Young Commu- 
nist League has been dissolved and all 
schools closed. 

Political Purges 

Those purged certainly do not form 
a coherent political opposition to Mao 
— the sterility of the CCP's political 
history itself would militate against 
such a possibility. Apparently some 
purged have wanted closer ties with 
Russia and even with the U.S.; but 
others have protested the lack of 
workers' control over the state appara- 
tus. What all do have in common 
seems to be disagreement with the con- 
trol clamped on the party, and with 
bureaucratic anti-intellectualism which 
substitutes Mao for technical knowl- 
edge and scientific investigation. 

Most significantly, almost all the im- 
portant officials purged, no matter 
what their field, have at one time or 
another criticized the last Great Leap 
Forward, in 1958-59. The removal of 
this opposition would be a logical prep- 
aratory step for the attempted next 

Through these purges, the Central 
Committee has been turned into a rub- 
ber stamp, allowed only to approve 
past actions, never to discuss present 
or future ones. (The communique from 
the August Plenum is direct confirma- 
tion of this.) Similarly, the Great Pro- 
letarian Cultural Revolution is designed 
to fix absolutely the hierarchical suc- 
cession of directives from top to bot- 
tom. The juveniles currently passing 
under the pseudonym of Red Guards 
can be whipped up into A demonstra- 
tion whenever Mao & Co. find the need 
to bring recalcitrant local party organ- 
izations to heel. But then, since the 
schools have been emptied, marriage 
and sexual relationships forbidden un- 
til age 26, and little work provided for 
the hordes streaming into Peking, Mao 
& Co. have found little difficulty in sug- 
gesting a whole host of spontaneous 
"proletarian" actions to their "mon- 

"Cultural'' Revolution 

But let us overlook its juvenile shock 
troops and instead exarpine the "cul- 
tural" and the "proletarian" aspects 
of this revolution. 

To the Red Guards, Beethoven and 
Bkch are "bourgeois revisionists"; 
Shakespeare and Goethe, "royalists"; 

the purged Chou Yang, a "Ringleader 
of the Sinister Gang in Literary and 
Art Circles"; Confucius, "an ox, a de- 
mon, a snake and a devil"; and Greek 
sculptures, smashed. 

(We can imagine the number of 
penitential swims in the Hudson River 
Progressive Labor Party leader Milt 
Rosen has taken since the last PL 
magazine goofed. Not only did an ar- 
ticle on China credit Mao's version of 
Marxist thought to his background in 
Confucian studies: "this fourth current 
[Chinese classical philosophy] is the 
source of some distinctive features of 
Marxist theory as developed by Mao 
Tse-tung . . ."; the article also de- 
scribed a recent Chinese celebration as 
the now "revisionist" music: "a mil- 
lion people, who danced all night long, 
hour after hour, rejoicing, a living 
embodiment of the last movement of 
Beethoven's Choral Symphony with its 
prophetic hymn to the brotherhood of 
man." It must be uncomfortable to be 
a Maoist today, not being able to guess 
what will be "true" for tomorrow.) 

Lenin, Trotsky, Marx and Engels re- 
peatedly attacked the idea that the 
mission of the pioletariat was to de- 
stroy the old culture: "Marxism has 
won its worldrhistoric significance as 
the ideology of the levolutionary pro- 
letariat because, far from rejecting the 
most valuable achievements of the 
bourgeois epoch, Marxism, on the con- 
trary, has assimilated and reshaped 
the more valuable elements accumulat- 
ed in the course of more than two thou- 
sand years of development of human 
thought and culture." (Lenin's Draft 
Resolution on Proletarian Culture) 

Now as for the proletarian aspect 
— metal workers in Kweiyang clashed 
with the bearers of proletarian cul- 
tiJre; textile workers in Shanghai op- 
posed the seizure of party headquar- 
ters by the young students; factory 
woikers in Canton fought the Red 
Guards until troops were brought in to 
protect the young students; other such 
clashes occurred in Harbin, Tsingtao, 
Tientsin, Hangchow, Changsha, Sian 
and Wuhan. 

Apparently in their efforts to teach 
the proletariat what proletarian cul- 
ture is, these young students have en- 
countered a true Maoist "contradic- 

Double-Talk^No Criticism 

The double-talk aspect of the Great 
Proletarian Cultural Revolution is of 
course much less significant than the 
use Mao & Co. make of it. The various 
versions of Mao-culture, purges and 
juvenile shock troops all make the 
point very clearly: "There is to be no 
criticism of the bureaucracy or of its 
program." The bureaucracy must now 
totally mobilize and absolutely control 
all China's resources if it is to impose 
its own progiam on the workers and 
peasants. The Proletarian Cultural 
(Continued Next Page) 


. . . MAOISM 

Revolution means nothing more than 
the destruction of all political-social 
culture in order to destroy the ideo- 
logical basis for opposition to the bu- 

The need of the Chinese bureaucracy 
for absolute control and the need to 
infuse that control with the sense of 
"revolutionary" orthodoxy could al- 
ready be seen ten years ago. The purge 
of Kao Kang and Jao Shu-shih in 1955 
apparently resulted from a dispute 
over production sector allotments. The 
bureaucracy, in an attempt to prevent 
future such "evil-doers," set up a con- 
trol commission, justifying it with a 
quote from Lenin's Left-Wing Commu- 
nism, an Infantile Disorder. Predict- 
ably, the quote was taken out of con- 
text — so out of context that the mean- 
ing was nearly reversed. The Chinese 
version of Lenin indicated that no one 
should be allowed to weaken "the iron 
discipline" of the party. Lenin's ver- 
sion of Lenin, however, indicated that 
such control is possible only when the 
party is reinforced by the participa- 
tion of the toiling masses. 

Imperialist Pressures 

What in the current Chinese situa- 
tion necessitates all this fake Marxism- 
Leninism? First, China now feels very 
acutely the pressures of imperialism 
refracted through and mediated by the 
bureaucracy. The U.S. has continually 
menaced China — through the Korean 
War, through its refusal in the early 
'50s to make China a nuclear-free zone, 
through its support of India's attacks 
on China's border, through the overall 
thrust of the Vietnam war. The bu- 
reaucracy has reacted to these pres- 
sures by trying to match U.S. military 
technologv and by linking itself to 
"friendly" bourgeois governments, such 
as Ghana, Pakistan, and Indonesia, 
rather than by linking itself to prole- 
tarian revolutionary struggles. As the 
bourgeois governments one by one re- 
treat from China, and the links with 
Russia and other workers states are 
broken, the bureaucracy retreats more 
and more into the isolated circle that 
U.S. imperialism has plotted for it. 

Accordingly the success of the latest 
nuclear test cannot be viewed as an 
uncomplicated triumph once the eco- 
nomic meaning of that test is clear. 
To have developed nuclear capacity to 
the present Chinese level, the bureauc- 
racy has been forced to unstructure 
the economy in a number of dangerous 
ways. The amount of money funneled 
into defense work has been estimated 
as high as 50% of government expen- 
ditures. More than half of the physi- 
cists, chemists and engineers working 
in China work on armament projects; 
undoubtedly a comparable section of 

the industrial working class is so em- 
ployed. Moreover, to have developed an 
intermediate range missile with nu- 
clear warhead in so few years is not 
proof of the "miracles" attained by so- 
cialist construction; rather it indicates 
that all research has been vertically 
directed to the narrow empirical result 
desired, a nuclear weapon, and not 
horizontally developed so that all in- 
dustrial fields could share in the results 
of scientific investigation. 

Misstructured Economy 

This misstructure is directly related 
to China's agricultural situation. Esti- 
mates of this year's grain harvest put 
it at about 5 million metric tons lower 
than last year's; this decrease will 
nearly double the amount of grain 
China has been forced to import an- 
nually since 1961. The decrease is su- 
perficially the result of drought or flood 
in some sections of China. But more 
basically, it results because there is 
no reserve in the agricultural sector 
able to absorb a calamity hitting any 
section of the country. Agriculture is 
strained to its limit under the present 
methods of production: intensively 
farmed, the Chinese land already pro- 
duces one of the highest per acreage 
yields in the world, achieved almost 
wholly through unmechanized labor 
power ; but there is little even potenti- 
ally arable land left. 

As long as agriculture remains non- 
mechanized and as long as the economy 
is so disbalanced by armament produc- 
tion, the rest of the economy must 
nearly stagnate. Two pairs of figures 
indicate the acuteness of this danger: 
in 1954, over 85% of the population 
was rural, only 2.4% of the popula- 
tion belonged to the industrial working 
force; today, over 85% is still rural, 
and the industrial work force has not 
yet risen to 3%. China has come near- 
ly to the end of its present course of 
economic development. 

In analyzing the direction of the So- 
viet Union under Stalin, Trotsky noted, 
"The instability of the Soviet regime, 
on the contrary, is due to the fact that 
its productive forces have far from 
grown up to the forms of socialist 
property." (The Revolution Betrayed) 
The same analysis is even more ap- 
propriate for China today. Obviously 
this contradiction between property 
form and technology will exist in any 
underdeveloped workers state. What is 
particularly crucial about China and 
other deformed workers states is that 
the bureaucracy by its very existence 
neutralizes the workers and creates 
waste. The myth of Mao's infallibil- 
ity, protected by the elimination of 
contradicting technical studies, will 
hinder rational planning; erroneous in- 
structions, never questioned because 
they come from the top, will continue 
to add to the waste — just as erroneous 
irrigation instructions resulted in the 

alkalinization of great sections of for- 
merely arable land in ' North China. 
Moreover, by building the revolution 
on a nationalist sentiment (now devel- 
oped to the point of xenophobia), and 
by asserting that China would build 
socialism in its own country in its own 
way, the bureaucracy cut itself off 
from outside help. The bureaucracy has 
already begun to sacrifice workers and 
peasants movements in other countries 
(see SPARTACIST No. 5 oii the Indone- 
sian slaughters) to the exigencies of 
internal economic development, just as 
Stalin sacrificed China in 1927-29, and 
just as the Russian bureaucracy is do- 
ing again today with China. 

China under the CCP began its plan- 
ned development starting from a much 
lower stage than did Soviet Russia, 
with a per capita income approximate- 
ly one-fourth that of Soviet Russia in 
1920. In 1952, just before the begin- 
ning of the first five-year plan, it was 
probably less than $80 a year. During 
the years of the first plan, China de- 
veloped at an average rate of 12% an- 
nual growth in gross national product, 
partially achieved by taking up the 
slack in the economy left over from 
Chiang Kai-shek's corruption, internal 
warfare and capitalist plunder. By 
1959 the income had been raised to 
about $100 per capita. 

Great Leap Forward 
Then, in the middle of the second 
five-year plan came the Great Leap 
Forward. To label this adventurism is 
surely to miss the main point. By 1958, 
China was able to ascertain its posi- 
tion. The rate of economic growth had 
dropped back nearly to its present 5 to 
7%%; the population continued to in- 
crease at a rate between 2 and 2%% 
annually. Given these rates of growth, 
China could not have been expected to 
reach the 1930 level^ of Soviet Russia, 
that is the level before Stalin's forced 
industrialization, until 1980, much less 
to approach the level of technology in 
present day Russia or the advanced 
capitalist natigns. China had to find a 
short cut for converting its peasant 
population into the capital goods need- 
ed for industrialization. This was to 
be accomplished through the Great 
Leap Forward. The Great Leap in- 
volved sufficient risks so that when 
these were compounded by three years 
of drought, a retreat was necessary. 
The bureaucracy in an attempt to short 
cut urban industrialization had to de- 
pend heavily on the peasantry, a petty- 
bourgeois class, to achieve many of the 
tasks of socialism. When the pressures 
accumulated, the peasants could not 
maintain their "collective ' spirit" and 
the bureaucracy retreated. 

Thus, the Great Leap Forward was 
defeated and with that defeat the econ- 
omy was set back approximately five 
years. Production of grain did not re- 
turn to the 1958 level until 1963; since 


then it has remained constant at about 
180 million metric tons. The same pat- 
tern of fluctuations is true of the total 
naitional income. But since 1958, the 
population has increased by between 
75 to 100 million more people; there- 
fore per capita production of grain and 
per capita share of national income has 
dropped from its high point in 1958. 

One result of that defeat serves as 
illustration of the vicious circle con- 
fronting a workers state bureaucracy 
attempting to industrialize an underde- 
veloped country. Because the Great 
Leap had been instituted from the top, 
to have admitted the magnitude of the 
defeat would have called into question 
the infallibility of the bureaucracy. 
Even to have allowed release of statis- 
tical analyses to the top party cadre 
would have given ammunition to op- 
ponents of Mao & Co. Starting early 
in 1958, statisticians were warned 
through official publications that they 
lacked "political consciousness." Even- 
^ tually the State Statistical Bureau not 
only quit publishing the immensely de- 
tailed studies of China's economic sit- 
uation, but also stopped most of its 

Planned Economy? 

But this "little" matter is immensely 
important for a planned economy. Is 
the population 760,300,000 or 800,292,- 
000 or 894,493,000? A plan based on 
760 million could turn out disastrously 
if it gradually became evident that 
there were 894 million people to feed. 

Thus the pressures of problems in 
the economic base forces the bureauc- 
racy to negate the political gains of 
the third revolution. As these are ne- 
gated and the bureaucracy is revealed 
more and more as a Bonapartist dic- 
tatorship, the political decay serves to 
destroy the economic gains made in the 
early years of the revolution. 

Faced with the bristling threat of 
American imperialism and weakened 
by Russian opportunism, China must 
break out of the circular nature of de- 
velopment in an underdeveloped coun- 
try. But because its own interests don't 
allow the bureaucracy to choose ulti- 
mate self -removal, it must force China 
into the mold of its own solutions. The 
only solution the bureaucracy has left 
itself is another attempt at forced in- 
dustrialization, i.e., another Great Leap 
Forward. Apparently this is the choice 
the bureaucracy has made, for a hard- 
sell campaign to institute "a new big 
leap forward in China's socialist con- 
struction" has been dominating Peking 
Review in recent months. Once again 
the bureaucracy will attempt to prole- 
tarianize the peasant and decentralize 

New Leap 
What is most significant is not 
whether this particular leap will suc- 
ceed or fail; rather, China, starting 

now with economic conditions less fa- 
vorable than those of 1958, has been 
forced into this measure by the inter- 
national policies and internal waste of 
its bureaucracy. 

At this point the bureaucracy has 
chosen to make a new forced march to 
industrialization — this will mean that 
little more than bare means of subsist- 
ence can be allowed the population. But 
we can see where this will lead. Trot- 
sky (again in The Revolution Be- 
trayed) described a similar situation 
in Russia: "On a basis of 'generalized 
want,' the struggle for the means of 
subsistence threatens to resurrect 'all 
the old crap,' and is partially resur- 
recting it at every step." 

The Chinese bureaucracy now speaks 
of Russian revisionism, particularly in 
relation to Libermanism; what they 
don't recognize about their own coun- 
try is what Trotsky recognized very 
early about Russia — that the seeds of 
Libermanism are sown at an early 
stage in the revolution. Just last year, 
the bureaucracy was forced to give 
back small individual holdings on the 
land to the Chinese peasants — the bu- 
reaucracy, no matter how much it in- 
veighs against the "four olds," is re- 
surrecting "all the old crap." This 
didn't just happen, of course; it result- 
ed from the bureaucracy's need to 
maintain its own position. This step, 
feeding petty-bourgeois ideology, must 
lead to the next step back — or to a 
Stalinoid attempt to crush the peasant 
"obtusiveness" through slaughter. Nei- 
ther is the means for building social- 

The particularly crucial problems 
facing China today result from the in- 
tersection, within the boundaries of 
an underdeveloped, massively-populat- 
ed country, of various lines of self- 
interest: U.S. imperialism with its Pax 
Americana; the Russian bureaucracy 
which, although casting off Stalin, has 
not cast off Stalinism; and the neo- 
Stalinist Chinese bureaucracy. 

Imperialism Served 

Imperialism could not have found a 
better way to serve its own interests 
than if it had itself severed the ties 
between Russia and China. So long as 
the two are at odds, imperialism is 
free to gradually annihilate Viet Nam 
and other countries like it, with China 
itself the prime target. 

So long as the Russian bureaucracy 
avoids its responsibility of giving aid 
to the world revolutionary movement, 
it will find it easy to concentrate on 
means of making its own position se- 
cure. In Russia that means passing off 
as "socialism" all the economic "re- 
forms" taking place in the Soviet bloc 

So long as the Maoist bureaucracy 
isolates China from the aid and the 
responsibilities of the world revolution- 
ary movement, China will pour im- 

mense amounts of its available re- 
sources into military power. And yet 
such a serious disbalancing of the 
economy cannot create a military pow- 
er capable of defending the socialist 
gains of the third revolution. Moreover, 
if an economic crisis leaves Mao with- 
out the support of the population there 
will be no guerrilla defense of China — 
no matter how much thought of Mao 
has been forced onto the population. 

If imperialism didn't also have its 
own problems, all it would need do is 
maintain the pressure and wait— for a 
capitalist mode of production in Rus- 
sia and economic collapse in China. But 
imperialism is also faced with all the 
sharp contradictions of its own decay- 
ing system. Because the Russian and 
Chinese bureaucracies find their own 
position in contradiction with the need 
to exert pressure on imperialism, they 
each allow Viet Nam to face imperialist 
aggression alone, and each blame the 
other. The final proof of the need to 
remove them lies in their inability to 
provide joint international revolution- 
ary leadership (a task not possible be- 
tween two Stalinist bureaucracies, 
each determined to institute "socialism" 
in only one country and each country 
at a different stage in its development, 
therefore with different self-interests). 

Workers Revolution 
Only the revolutionary Chinese pro- 
letariat can lead the Chinese workers 
state out of its present deformity. The 
task of building a Leninist party in- 
side China, able to lead the proletarian 
vanguard and the peasantry to a defi- 
nitive clash with Mao's bureaucracy, is 
of utmost importance. Without leader- 
ship, the Chinese proletariat will not be 
able to establish itself as ruler of its 
own state. 

The destruction of Maoism in China, 
at the hanite of the proletariat, will 
open the door to the victory of the ex- 
ploited masses of Asia and it will ac- 
celerate the revolutionary struggle in 
Viet Nam, India and Japan. In turn, 
workers' governments in these coun- 
tries, particularly in industrially ad- 
vanced Japan, can help China to break 
out of its present viciously limiting 
circle of economic development. 

Similarly, in order for the Russian 
bureaucracy to be defeated, opening 
the way to European and Latin Ameri- 
can workers struggles, demands the 
building of a new Leninist party inside 

Finally, a workers revolution in any 
of the technologically advanced coun- 
tries would speed immensely the over- 
turns of the Russian and Chinese Stal- 

Stalinism must be defeated in order 
that the imperialist exploitation of Af- 
rica, Asia and Latin America and the 
capitalist exploitation of workers can 
be erased forever from the face of the 
earth. ■ 



Beginning on 23 October a decade ago, Hungary's 
working people rose in an historic attempt to overthrow 
Stalinist political rule and move forward to a socialist 
workers republic in their country. The Hungarian 
working class fought valiantly for several weeks before 
their revolution was crushed — but not before it created 
an example of heroic struggle capable of inspiring and 
guiding the international proletariat in its warfare 
against imperialist and Stalinist oppressors alike. 

The 1956 revolution not only devastated all mystiques 
regarding the deformed workers states but provided a 
powerful vindication of the Trotskyist position. Thus 
the counterrevolutionary policies of the Stalinist bu- 
reaucracy decisively exposed it as an ally, when neces- 
sary, of imperialism against the working class — a rev- 
elation leading to defections of cadres from Stalinist 
parties over the globe. The familiar image, projected by 
middle-class cynics, of an emasculated working class 
forever reduced to mindless passivity and impotence 
under totalitarianism, also crumbled as hundreds of 
thousands of Hungary's industrial workers appropri- 
ated direct control of their factories and mines and took 
to the streets to defend their newly-acquired power. 
And the imperialists' contention that the Hungarian 
masses would embrace fascists and monarchist reac- 
tionaries of the Horthyite-Catholic variety in a head- 
long rush to return to capitalist exploitation (a slander 
which especially the Stalinists have assisted them in 
promoting) was demolished not only by the actions of 
the revolutionaries — including the violent suppression 
of what anti-Semitic and White Guard threats actually 
existed — but by the workers' militantly communist 
aspirations and their unambiguous hatred for capital- 

The spontaneous creation of industrial workers coun- 
cils throughout the country as the elementary machin- 
ery of proletarian rule carried forward the example set 
by the Pai'is Commune of 1870-71 (the inspiration for 
Lenin's State and Revolution) which was brought to 
fruition in the establishment of the Russian Soviet 
Republic in November 1917. The Hungarian Soviets, 
assisted with food supplied by the peasantry, effectively 
democratized political and economic life for most of the 
period of their existence. 

Communist Principles 

The revolutionaries, while denouncing the Stalinist 
"prostitution" of communism, were unequivocal in ex- 
pressing their determination to build upon the existing 
achievements of nationalized property, agrarian re- 
form, and planned economy. The National Writers 
Union, at the start of the uprising, voiced many of the 
revolution's ambitions, which included "an independent 
national policy based on the principle of socialism" and 
"true and sincere friendship with our allies — the 
U.S.S.R. and the Peoples Democracies. This can be 
realized "only on the basis of Leninist principles." 
(Proclamation, 23 October 1956.) In a similar declara- 
tion issued 26 October, the Miskolc Workers Council 
echoed the resounding demands for political power for 

cal Revolution in H 

the Soviets and called for a government of "Commu- 
nists devoted to the principles of proletarian interna- 

Vigilantly hostile to capitalism, as to bureaucratic 
oppression, the masses were forced to defend their rev- 
olution not only against the Khrushchev bureaucracy ■ 
but against small but potentially dangerous right-wing 
elements who endeavored to utilize the revolutionary 
crisis (a relatively puny threat which the Stalinists 
have grotesquely exaggerated in order to slander the 
revolution and anoint their own treachery). Fascist 
activities were suppressed. The Hungarian Army news- 
paper Magyar Honved of 1 November reported: "At 
Gyor, certain extreme right-wing elements wanted to 
hold a big meeting. . . . But the workers of Gyor pre- 
vented them from doing it. We want no fascism, we 
have had enough of tyranny, whether it be the tyranny 
of Rakosi or Szalasi." Similarly, the 2 November Igaz- 
sag (Truth), paper of the Revolutionary Youth, gave 
an abrupt but poignant expression of popular feelings : 
"We hate the fascists who are lurking in the shadows 
and who want to exploit the revolution." Not fascism, 
but Stalinist terror was the dominant force of counter- 
revolution in Hungary. 

Clearly, "the Hungarian proletariat, overwhelmingly 
supported by the peasantry, stood at the threshold of 
state power in 1956. Eighty per cent of the Hungarian 
Workers Party (Communist) supported the revolution- 
ary masses. Many students and intellectuals, courageous 
partisans of the working class, fought and died val- 
iantly alongside their comrades from the industrial en- 
terprises. Workers and students marched through the 
streets of Budapest bearing portraits of Lenin. As in 
any truly popular revolution, the armed forces were * 
profoundly shaken, with large sections of the Hungar- 
ian Army joining the insurrection. (Even among the 
Russian troops, many of whom were duped to believe 
they were fighting Anglo-French imperialists in Egypt 
or fascists in Berlin, there were defections to the revo- 

Dual Power 

Thus, a condition of civil war existed between the 
power represented by the workers councils and de- 
fended by the armed masses . . . and that of the Stalin- 
ist apparatus, backed up only by the secret police and 
Russian troops. Why, in this most favorable of revolu- 
tionary situations, did the workers lose? It is not suf- 
ficient simply to enthuse about the revolutionary suc- 
cesses and vituperate the triumphant enemy. Solidarity 
with our fallen comrades compels us to examine and 
seek to understand the weakness of the 1956 revolution. 

As with all previous confrontations of dual poiver in 
labor history, the outcome of the revolutionary strug- 
gle in Hungary balanced on the problem of its leadership. 
To whom, and to what program, did the masses look to 
guide them? This question flows ineluctably from the 
fact that Marxism is founded upon the capacity of the 
working class to conscionsly assume direction of society. 
•The self-emancipation of the proletariat depends upon 
the proletarians' conscious recognition of their tasks. 


Ingary — Ten Years 

Much of Lenin's contribution to Marxist theory is sum- 
marized in his observation that "in its struggle for 
power the proletariat has no other weapon but organ- 
ization." This voices concretely what the world prole- 
tariat has to a great extent learned intuitively; and it 
is obvious to every worker that organization posits 
leadership. Indeed, program and leadership are, for the 
working class, the most crucial expression of organiza- 
tion, to the extent that organization is a manifestation 
of the "class-for-itself." 

Leadership Lacking 

It was on this critical level that the Hungarian in- 
surrection foundered. The working masses, crying out 
for drastic changes, for socialism, groped for a leader- 
ship which would clarify, focus, and consolidate their 
aspirations — a revolutionary leadership, consisting of 
the most militant and class-conscious workers, and con- 
stituting the class vanguard. Writing in 1924, Trotsky 
put forth in Lessons of October certain revolutionary 
maxims whose burning validity is underscored by the 
Hungarian events: ". . . without a party capable of 
directing the proletarian i-evolution, the revolution it- 
self is rendered impossible. The proletariat cannot seize 
power by a spontaneous uprising." And further: ". . . 
circumstances may arise where all the prerequisites for 
socialism exist, with the exception of a far-seeing and 
resolute party leadership grounded in the understand- 
ing of the laws and methods of the revolution." 

Such a party in Hungary would have had the task 
of winning the workers to a program transforming the 
Soviets from organs of insurrection to the organs of 
dominant state poiver in the country. While endeavor- 
'ing to win over the Communist Party insurgents, a 
revolutionary party should have posed the necessity of 
completely smashing the Stalinist state apparatus in 
Hungary, and urgently sought to establish, for example, 
a national congress of representatives from the revolu- 
tionary and workers councils in its place. Its members 
rooted in the working class across the land, and thus 
instantly cognizant of and responsive to the needs of 
the masses and to developments in every area, such a 
party would have made possible the centralized co- 
ordination of economic life and the military struggle 
which was so fatally absent. And, while advancing the 
necessity of blocking with the deformed workers states 
against world imperialism, the party should have sought 
to dispel all illusions of the "friendliness" of the bu- 
reaucracies of these states towards a popular socialist 
revolution, and urged the workers to depend upon their 
own strength and determination to win. 

But no revolutionary leadership materialized to ad- 
vance such a program and give culmination to the rev- 
olution. The workers, headless, called merely for re- 
forms in the regime and saw their councils, not as a 
counter-apparatus of state power, but merely as machin- 
ery to give them a "share" in management and defend 
their interests. Searching for leadership, they fixed 
upon certain vacillating, conciliatory liberal-reform ele- 
ments of the Communist Party, led by Imre Nagy, who 


accepted power reluctantly and all but handed it back 
to Khrushchev. Far from fighting for the supremacy of 
the Soviets as organs of proletarian class dictatorship, 
the revolutionaries called rather for universal elections 
from all classes to a democratic parliament — a process 
which would have transferred power to the Catholic- 
peasant majority of the population, thus potentially 
menacing the workers' truly socialist demands and giv- 
ing a foothold to the imperialists-restorationists. Per- 
haps as equally a product of confusion, some revolu- 
tionaries looked for help to Stalinist bureaucracies 
abroad, such as China's, which meantime was support- 
ing Khrushchev to thfe hilt and preparing to send "anti- 
revisionist" Chou En-lai on a tour of Europe to lend 
Peking's prestige and blessing to the butchery. 

Defeat in Isolation 

Perhaps the most serious weakness of the 1956 up- 
rising, however, was its predominantly isolated, nation- 
alist character. The revolt against Stalinist suppression 
of national identity assumed at times almost bourgeois- 
nationalist forms. The revolution was sparked by, and 
prepared during the insurgent wave which traversed 
the deformed workers states at this time; yet the mili- 
tant workers and radical intellectuals, whose demands 
for political and economic reforms led to the outbreak 
on 23 October, made virtually no effort to extend their 
activities beyond Hungary's boundaries. Hence the rev- 
olution neither received succor from nor expanded its 
thrust into the other states of Europe — ultimately the 
sine qua non of victory. Even with the existing flaws, 
the chances of revolutionary survival would have been 
enormously enhanced had the Hungarian workers been 
emulated by their brothers in adjoining lands; isola- 
tion, on the other hand, promised certain defeat. 

Thus a revolutionary party in Hungary would not 
only have assumed the task of leading the Hungarian 
workers to state power, but, as a section of a disci- 
plined international party, would have assisted in the 
vital work of preparing and leading insurrections in 
other European countries. Such an international revo- 
lutionary center, representing the continuity and inter- 
national linkages which the Hungarian insurgents so 
desperately lacked, could have prepared the workers of 
these areas for action in solidarity with the Hungar- 
ians. Such a center, by transmitting the revolutionary 
example of Hungary to the proletariat of all Europe and 
co-ordinating it with the upsurges in other workers 
states, might well have triggered a final historic con- 
frontation with imperialism during which the Stalin- 
ist bureaucracies -^vould simply have been swept away. 

For the Fourth International 

The -tragedy of the Hungarian commune must not 
blind us to the power of its example. As the Paris 
Commune of 1870-71, even in defeat, inspired the Rus- 
sian Bolsheviks to eventual victory, so the energy of 
the Hungarian workers' struggle must flow into the 
veins of a world revolutionary party — the Fourth Inter- 
national — which alone can enable the international pro- 
letariat to seize victory from such defeats. ■ 



Founding Conference 

The Spartacist League held its Found- 
ing Conference in Chicago over Labor 
Day weekend. This Conference, attend- 
ed by some 50 delegates and observers 
fiom all parts of the country, laid a 
firm political basis for the new organ- 
ization by adopting a declaration of its 
revolutionary aims and principles. Also 
adopted, with large decisive margins, 
were resolutions to guide Spartacist 
League work in the Negro struggle, 
union movement, anti-war movement, 
and other major arenas. In addition, the 
Conference elected an authoritative and 
representative national leadership to 
unite and lead forward the new organ- 
ization over the coming period. 

The Spartacist League, with local 
committees and supporters in more 
than 15 areas, has indeed come a long 
way since the expulsion of its initial 
cadres from the Socialist Workers Party 
(SWP) in December 1963. Expelled for 
their ideas alone, these cadres had 
been struggling inside that party as its 
Revolutionary Tendency for three 
years for a revolutionary international 
perspective, for the Trotskyist position 
on Cuba, and against the SWF's un- 
critical adaptation to Black National- 
ism. Following their expulsion, the ex- 
members began the publication of 
Spartacist, the first issue of which 
stated their determination "to further 
a revolutionary regroupment of forces 
within this country such that a Lenin- 
ist vanguard party of the working 

On behalf of the Freedom Socialist 
Party of Washington, I wish to greet 
this national gathering of the Sparta- 
cist League. 

It is an admirable achievement for a 
small organization to be able to ex- 
pand into so many cities across the 
country and then to organize such a 
representative conference. 

Let me tell you about ourselves. We 
are an independent local organization 
with some national supporters, brought 
together in the spirit of revolutionary 
regroupment. Ours is, however, a much 
narrower regroupment than we believe 
to be possible on a national scale in 
the not-too-distant future. 

The main body of our party comes 
from the former Seattle Branch of the 

class will emerge." This orientation re- 
mains central to the goals of the Spar- 
tacist League today. 

Cadre Origins 

The beginnings of the realization of 
this perspective can be seen in the 
present composition of the League. 
Present at the Conference and driving 
the organization forward was a living 
communist cadre that has evolved as a 
deep fusion in struggle of several ten- 
dencies and elements. In addition to 
those from the SWP, a number had 
previously formed the Revolutionary 
Tendency of the Young Peoples' Social- 
ist League (Socialist Party youth 
group). These latter left the YPSL to 
unite with the Spartacist tendency late 
in 1964 after a long development to- 
wards revolutionary internationalism 
and "Lenin's and Trotsky's conception 
of the nature and role of the revolu- 
tionary party. . . ." Several of the older 
Spartacist comrades had formerly been 
members of the Communist Party. Ally- 
ing themselves with these more expe- 
rienced comrades have been the sizeable 
number of students and young people 
and a small but significant number of 
militants won from the Negro strug- 
gle in such diverse areas as Harlem 
and the deep South. 

Fraternal Guests 

Giving testimony to the continuity of 
the Spartacist League with the earlier 

Socialist Workers Party. Others come 
from the Communist Party and the 
ranks of the independent socialists and 
previously unaffiliated "new left" youth. 

We anticipate a close collaboration 
with you in the future. We feel a mu- 
tual political attraction, I believe, be- 
cause of a common belief in persistent 
adherence to the ideas of Leon Trotsky, 
and the close proximity of our ap- 
proach to the Negro question, a deci- 
sive key to the American Revolution. 

We wish you well. We hope your corij- 
ference will be successful and we ex- 
pect it will mark an important episode 
in the process of rebuilding the revo- 
lutionary socialist movement in the 
United States. 

Thank you. 

Trotskyist movement was the fraternal 
presence at the Conference of two vet- 
eran Trotskyist leaders, Richard Fra- 
ser, an able theoretician on the Negro 
Question and co-leader of the Freedom 
Socialist Party of Washington State, 
and A. Philips, spokesman for his ten- 
dency and a very experienced trade 
unionist. The tendencies represented by 
these two comrades had both been 
forced out of the SWP at the height of 
its gross class-collaborationist betrayal 
of the anti-war movement. Comrades 
Fraser and Philips presented greetings 
to the Conference on behalf of their 
groups, and Comrade Fraser, a co- 
reporter on the Negro Question, traced 
the evolution of the SWP's theoretical 
bankruptcy and unprincipled practice 
and our present Marxist position on 
this question. 

Despite some differences, the Con- 
ference decisions on the wide range of 
subjects brought before it were char- 
acterized by large decisive votes and 
broad agreement. Unlike the SWP, the 
work of the Conference was conducted 
in the spirit of free discussion and in 
accordance with the principles of dem- 
ocratic centralism, with minority ten- 
dencies exercizing full factional rights. 

The Declaration of Principles adopt- 
ed by the Conference is reprinted in 
this issue. It places the new organiza- 
tion firmly within the revolutionary, 
international working-cla-ss struggle 
for the final destruction of the bar- 
barism of capital and the establish- 
ment in its place of a new, socialist 
order. Comrade Rader was reporter on 
this declaration. 

For Black Trotskyism 

Comrade Stoute, co-reporter with 
Comrade Fraser on the Negro Question, 
analyzed the mood of "pseudo-national- 
ism" now prevalent in the ghettoes, 
and pointed out that the struggle for 
black liberation "is actually the van- 
guard struggle of the working class," 
black and white. The Conference then 
adopted the main line of the draft res- 
olution which demonstrated that so- 
cialism will only be achieved by the 
common struggle of black and white 
workers for common goals under the 
leadership of a unified vanguard party. 
The document found that Negro na- 
tionalism has no social basis in terms 
of American class reality and has 
therefore been unable to generate a 
program of striiggle. On the other 
hand, because of the present hostility 
of large sections of white workers to 
the special needs of black workers 
stemming from centuries of exceptional 
(Continued Bottom Page 14) 


By Dick Fraser 


Photos by Ron Burkholder 

"FOUNDING THE SPARTACIST LEAGUE," subject of the public meeting at the Conference. Speakers from left to right 
were national chairman James Robertson, West Coast editor Geoffrey White, and Central Committee member Paul Gaillard. 
A comrade from the deep South also spoke. New York organizer Albert Nelson chaired. 

Declaration of Principles 
of the Spartacist League 

1. The Socialist Revolution 
and the Spartacist League 

The Spartacist League of the U.S. is 
a revolutionary organization which, as 
part of the international revolutionary 
movement, is committed to the task of 
building the party which will lead the 
working class to the victory of the so- 
cialist revolution in the United States. 

Only the proletariat, through the 
seizure of political power and the de- 
struction of capitalism in all countries, 
can lay the basis for the elimination of 
exploitation and the resolution of the 
contradiction between the growth of 
the productive forces of the world econ- 
omy and national-state barriers. Capi- 
talism has long since outlived its pro- 
gressive historical role of creating a 
modei-n industrial economy. Now in or- 
der to maintain their rule, the national 
capitalist classes must intensify na- 
tional and racial divisions, through im- 
perialism oppress the colonial peoples 
and impoverish the masses of the en- 
tire world, engage in continual wars 
for the maintenance and redivision of 
the world markets in order to prop up 
the falling rate of profit, and attempt 
to smash the revolutionary struggle of 
the workers wherever it breaks out. In 
its final frenzied effort to maintain its 
close rule, the bourgeoisie will not hes- 
itate to plunge humanity into a nuclear 
holocaust or totalitarian oppression of 
unprecedented ferocity. The United 
States of America is today the key- 
stone of the entire international capi- 
t^ist order. 

^ On the other hand, the victory of the 
proletariat on a world scale would 
place unimagined material abundance 
at the service of human needs, lay the 
basis for the elimination of social 
classes, and eliminate forever the drive 

for war inherent in the world economic 
system of capitalism. For the first time 
mankind will grasp the reins of his- 
tory and control its own creation, so- 
ciety, resulting in an undreamed-of 
emancipation of human potential, the 
limitless expansion of freedom in every 
area, and a monumental forward surge 
of civilization. Only then will it be pos- 
sible to realize the free development of 
each individual as the condition for the 
free development of all. 

2. The Crisis of 
Proletarian Leadership 

History has shown that the self- 
emancipation of the working class, and 
therewith the oppressed of all the 
earth, balances on the question of lead- 
ership. The economic preconditions for 
socialisni have long since been reached. 
But the contradictions of capitalism in 
its epoch of imperialist decay produce 
not only wars, but also revolutionary 
opportunities. The success or failure of 
the working class to achieve victory in 
these histoi'ic opportunities depends 
upon the organization and scientific 
consciousness of the struggling masses, 
i.e., on revolutionary leadership. Only 
a revolutionary leadership — the indis- 
pensible weapon of the working people 
— has proved to have the strategy and 
determination to lead the- working 
masses to victory. The responsibility 
for the defeats sufi'ered by the working 
class and the abortion of previous revo- 
lutionary opportunities lies at the door 
of treacherous Social-Democratic and 
Stalinist mislcaders. But the revolu- 
tionary will of the proletariat will tri- 
umph! The crisis of leadei'ship will be 
solved! It is to the solution of the crisis 
of proletarian leadership that the Spar- 
tacist League directs its work. 

3. The Theoretical and Historical Roots 
of the Spartacist League 

The Spartacist League continues the 
revolutionary traditions of the inter- 
national working-class movement ex- 
emplified in the work of revolutionists 
such as Marx, Engels, Lenin, Trotsky, 
Luxemburg, and Liebknecht. Above all 
we look to the experience of the Bol- 
shevik Party which culminated in the 
Russian Revolution of 1917, the only 
revolution as yet made by the working 

We seek in particular to carry for- 
ward the international working-class 
perspectives of Marxism as developed 
in theory and practice by V. I. Lenin 
and L. D. Trotsky, as embodied in the 
decisions of the first four Congresses 
of the Communist International and by 
the Transitional Program and other 
documents adopted by the 1938 Found- 
ing Conference of the Fourth Inter- 
national. These matei'ials are the in- 
dispensible documentary codification of 
the communist movement internation- 
ally, and are fundamental to the revo- 
lutionary tasks of our organization. 

We also look for inspiration to the 
example of such revolutionists in the 
United States as F. A. Sorge, Vincent 
St. John, Daniel De Leon, Louis Fraina, 
and James P. Cannon. The Spartacist 
League is the continuator of the revo- 
lutionary heritage of the early Com- 
munist Party and the Socialist Work- 
ers Party. The immediate origins of 
the Spartacist League are in the Revo- 
lutionary Tendency of the SWP which 
based itself primarily upon the state- 
ment In Defense of a Revolutionary 
Perspective and the document World 
Prospect for Socialism. 

(Continued Next Page) 




4. The Vanguard Role of the Working 
Class and the Road to Socialism 

Central to the Marxist perspective of 
world socialism is the vanguard role of 
the working class, and particularly the 
decisive weight of the proletariat of 
the industrialized countries. Only the 
working class has the social power and 
compulsion of clear objective interest 
to liberate mankind from oppression. 
Having no stake in maintaining the 
bourgeois order, its enormous power 
rests in its productive role, its numbers 
and organization. 

The continued rule of a small hand- 
ful of capitalists is maintained only 
through keeping the working class di- 
vided and confused as to its true situ- 
ation. In the United States, the ruling 
class has succeeded in creating deep 
divisions along racial lines. The Black 
workers as a doubly-oppressed race- 
color caste require special modes of 
struggle as long as racist attitudes 
'continue to permeate the outlook of the 
working class as a whole. Socialism in 
this country will be achieved only by 
the common struggle of Black and 
white workers under the leadership of 
a unified revolutionary vanguard. 

Historic experience has shown that 
the road to socialism can be opened only 
by the intervention of the masses in 
the course of history and the creation 
of dual power culminating in the de- 
struction of the capitalist state and the 
victory of the workers state and devel- 
opment of a new social order. The po- 
lice, military, bureaucratic, juridical, 
and political apparatus of the old rder 
will be replaced by the dictatorship of 
the proletariat based on councils of 
working people and supported by the 
workers' armed strength. Such a state 
would defend itself against the coun- 
terrevolutionary efforts of the deposed 
ruling class to return to power and 
would reorganize the economy along 
rational lines. As the economic basis of 
social classes dwindled, the workers 
state would more and more assume a 
purely administrative function, eventu- 
ally withering away with the advent of 
classless communism. 

5. The International Character 
of the Socialist Revolution 

Capitalism is a world economic sys- 
tem which has created an international 
working class with identical class in- 
terests the world over. The interna- 
tional character of the working class 
gives it a potentially enormous superi- 
ority over the bouigeoisie as capitalism 
operates by anarchistic methods which 
set one national capitalist class lagainst 
another and constantly create new un- 
evennesses and crises. In order to real- 
ize this superiority, the proletariat needs 
an international party to unify the 

class across the national and sectional 
boundaries which divide it and to co- 
ordinate the interdependent struggles 
of the workers of every country. "While 
the revolution may begin in a single 
country, any partial victory will be 
only finally secured with, the spread of 
revolution to other countries and the 
eventual world dominance of socialist 
economic organization. The Fourth In- 
ternational is the world party of the 
socialist revolution, whose program 
and purposes remain as valid today as 
at its founding in 1938, despite its 
present organizational disarray. We 
stand with all those groups seeking the 
rebirth of the Fourth International and, 
as a first step, the creation of a bona- 
fide International Committee of revolu- 
tionary Trotskyists based upon a real 
and living democratic centralism. 

6. The Necessity 
for Revolutionary Consciousness 

The ruling class has at its command 
a monopoly of the means of violence, 
its dominant political and bureaucratic 
apparatus, its enormous wealth and 
connections, and its control of educa- 
tion, the mass media and all other in- 
stitutions of capitalist society. Against 
such a force a workers state can be 
brought into existence only by a pro- 
letariat fully conscious of its tasks, or- 
ganized to carry them out, and deter- 
mined to defend its conquests against 
the counterrevolutionary violence of 
the ruling class. The decisive struggle 
—the conquest of state power — re- 
quires political consciousness. Through 
its acquisition of political conscious- 
ness the working class ceases to be 
merely a class in itself and becomes a 
class for itself. Such consciousness is 
not spontaneously generated in the 
course of the day-to-day class strug- 
gles of the workers; it must be brought 
to the workers by the revolutionary 
party. Thus it is the task of the revo- 
lutionary party to forge the proletariat 
into a sufficient political force by in- 
fusing it with a consciousness of its 
real situation, educating it in the his- 
torical lessons of the cla?s struggle, 
tempering it in ever deepening strug- 
gles, destroying its illusions, steeling 
its revolutionary will and self-confi- 
dence, and organizing the overthrow of 
all forces standing in the way of the 
conquest of power. A conscious work- 
ing class is the decisive force in his- 

7. The Bourgeois Basis 
of Revisionism 

Insofar as revolutionary conscious- 
ness is not prevalent among the work- 
ers, their consciousness is determined 
by the ideology of the ruling class. 
Objectively capitalism rules through 
finance capital, its monopoly of the 
means of violence, and its control of all 
existing social institutions. But it pre- 
fers, when possible, to rule through 

the dominance of its ideas among, the 
oppressed, fostering illusions and con- 
cealing its bloody essence. The ideas 
of the bourgeoisie penetrate into the 
very movements and organizations of 
the workers through the agency of the 
petty-bourgeois labor lieutenants — par- 
ticularly the parasitic trade union, So- 
cial-Democratic, and Stalinist bureauc- 
racies which are based on the "aristo- , 
cratic" upper strata of the working 
class. Enjoying privileges not accorded 
to the vast majority of workers, these 
misleaders betray the masses of work- 
ing people through class collaboration, 
social-patriotism, and chauvinist-racist 
policies which sabotage proletarian un- 
derstanding and solidarity. If not re- 
placed by revolutionary leaderships, 
they will allow the organizations of the 
workers to become impotent in the 
fight for the economic needs of the 
workers under conditions of bourgeois 
democracy or will allow these organi- 
zations to be destroyed by victorious 

The degeneration and capitulation of 
tendencies within the Marxist move- 
ment has been of especially critical 
value to the preservation of imperial- 
ist rule. Submission to the pressure of 
bourgeois society has repeatedly tHrust 
nominally Marxist currents towards 
revisionism, the process of ruling out 
Marxism's essential conclusions. Bern 
steinian revisionism, Menshevism, Stal- 
inisni, and its Maoist variant, are all 
illustrations of this process which con- 
stitutes a bridge to overtly reformist 

Within the Trotskyist movement the 
problems posed by the post-1943 Stal* 
inist expansions have given rise to the 
revisioijist current of Pabloism. Pablo- 
ism is characterized chiefly by a re- 
nunciation of the necessity for revolu- 
tionary leadership and an adaptation 
to existing petty-bourgeois and Stalin- 
ist leaderships. This deterioration of 
theory has led to the degeneration of 
the Fourth International founded by 
Leon Trotsky, and to its organizational 

The Spartacist League, by contribut- 
ing to the theoretical clarification of 
the Marxist movement and to the re- 
forging of the workers' necessary or- 
ganizational weapons, upholds the rev- 
olutionary proletarian principles of 
Marxism and will carry them forward 
to the vanguard of the working class. 

8. The Deformed Workers States 
and the Political Revolution 

Historic gains have been made in ex- 
pelling imperialism from and destroy- 
ing capitalist property relations in cer- 
tain backward countries, i.e., the de- 
generated workers state of Russia, and 
the deformed workel'S states in East 
Europe, and of China, North Korea, 
North Viet Nam, and Cuba. The nation- 
alization of the means of production, 
establishment of economic planning, 


— 13 

and the state monopoly of foreign 
trade have brought tangible increases 
in the living standards of the masses 
together with advances in industrial 
growth in spite of the hostility of im- 
perialism. On the other hand, the fail- 
ure as yet of the proletariat to success- 
fully carry through a social revolution 
in any of the advanced countries, the 
relatively low labor productivity and 
cultural levels of the workers states 
compared to the leading capitalist 
countries, and the numerical prepon- 
derance of the peasant class have al- 
lowed the formation of bureaucratic 
ruling castes which exclude the work- 
ing class from political power and 
which are susceptible to the develop- 
ment of capitalist restorationist ten- 
dencies. These privileged bureaucracies, 
themselves a reflection of the continued 
domination of capitalism on a world 
scale, stand as a barrier to the elimina- 
tion of class differences within their 
own national boundaries and the 
achievement of socialism on a world 
scale; through their increasingly na- 
tionalist deviations, they weaken these 
conquests of the working class in the 
face of imperialism and open the way 
for the repenetration of capitalist eco- 
nomic iforms. 

The Spartacist League stands for the 
uncoiiditional defense of these coun- 
tries against all attempts of imperial- 
ism to reestablish its control. At the 
san s time we assert the necessity for 
the working class to take direct con- 
trol and defense of these states into 
their own hands through political revo- 
lution and thus sweep away the inter- 
nal barriers to the advance towards 
socialism. Only the spread of revolu- 
l^on internally and internationally can 
successfully maintain these partial con- 
quests of the workers. It is an imme- 
diate and pressing necessity to build 
sections of the Fourth International in 
the deformed workers states to guide 
the struggle of the workers for politi- 
cal power and to coordinate their strug- 
gles with those of the proletariat in the 
advanced and colonial countries. 

9. The Colonial Revolution 
and tfie Permanent Revolution 

The partial character of the anti- 
capitalist revolutions in the colonial 
world over the past two decades (China, 
Cuba, North Viet Nam and North 
Korea) leads us to reaffirm the Marx- 
ist-Leninist concept of the proletariat 
as the key to the socialist revolution. 
Although existing petty-bourgeois na- 
tionalist-led movements against impe- 
rialism must be defended, the task of 
Comn)unists is to lead the active inter- 
vention of the working class to take 
l[iegemony over the national-social 
struggle. The struggle by the prole- 
tarian leadership for self-determination 
of the oppressed nations is a powerful 
tool to break the grip of petty-bour- 
g«ois nationalist leaders on the masses. 

The Spartacist League fundamentally 
opposes the Maoist doctrine, rooted in 
TMenshevism and Stalinist reformism, 
which rejects the vanguard role of the 
working class and substitutes peasant- 
based guerrilla warfare as the road to 
socialism. Movements of this sort can 
under certain conditions, i.e., the ex- 
treme disorganization of the capitalist 
class in the colonial country and the 
absence of the working class contend- 
ing in its own right for social power, 
smash capitalist property relations; 
however, they cannot bring the work- 
ing class to political power. Rather, 
they create bureaucratic anti-working 
class regimes which suppress any fur- 
ther development of these revolutions 
towards socialism. Experience since 
the Second World War has completely 
validated the Trotskyist theory of the 
Permanent Revolution which declares 
that in the modern world the bourgeois- 
democratic revolution can be completed 
only by a proletarian dictatorship sup- 
ported by the peasantry. Only under 
the leadership of the revolutionary pro- 
letariat can the colonial and semi-co- 
lonial countries obtain the complete 
and genuine solution to their tasks of 
achieving democracy and national 

10. The Revolutionary Party: 
Its Program, Organization, and 

"Without a party, apart from a par- 
ty, over the head of a party, or with a 
substitute for a party, the proletarian 
revolution cannot conquer." The revo- 
lutionary party is not only the instru- 
ment for bringing political conscious- 
ness to the proletariat, it is also the 
main offensive and guiding force 
through which the working class makes 
and consolidates the socialist revolu- 
tion. The revolutionary party is the 
general staff of the revolution. Its lead- 
ing cadre have been trained and tested 
in the class struggle; it has gained 
the leadership of the class on the basis 
of its program and revolutionary deter- 
mination; it has understood the whole 
of the past in order to assess the pres- 
ent situation with crystal clarity; it 
recognizes and boldly responds to the 
revolutionary moment when it comes, 
that moment when the forces of the 
proletariat are most confident and pre- 
pared and the forces of the old order 
most demoralized and disorganized. In 
the revolutionary party is crystallized 
the aspiration of the masses to obtain 
their freedom; it symbolizes their revo- 
lutionary will and is 'the instrunient of 
their victory. 

The program of the Spartacist 
League, as part of the Fourth Inter- 
national, is transitional in nature. It 
forms a bridge in the course of daily 
struggle between the present demands 
and the socialist program of the revo- 
lution. From the consciousness of the 
working class today it formulates its 

demands and tasks in a way that lead 
inalterably to one final conclusion: the 
conquest of power by the proletariat. 
The united front of differing and other- 
wise hostile organizations of the work- 
ing class is a primary tactic in unset- 
tled periods to both mobilize a broad 
mass in struggle and to strengthen the 
authority of the vanguard party within 
the class. The transitional program di- 
rects the struggle ever more openly 
arid decisively against the very bases 
of the bourgeois regime and mobilizes 
the masses for the proletarian revolu- 

The organizational principle of the 
Spartacist League is democratic cen- 
tralism, a balance between internal de- 
mocracy and functional discipline. As a 
combat organization, the revolutionary 
vanguard must be capable of unified 
and decisive action at all times in the 
class struggle. All members must be 
mobilized to carry out the decisions of 
the majority; authority must be cen- 
tralized in its selected leadership which 
interprets tactically the organization's 
program. Internal democracy permits 
the collective determination of the 
party's line in accord with the needs 
felt by the party's ranks who are clos- 
est to the class as a whole. The right 
to factional democracy is absolutely 
vital to a living movement. The very 
existence of this right helps to channel 
differences into less absorbing means 
of resolution. 

The discipline of the Spartacist 
League flows from its program and 
purpose, the victory of the socialist 
revolution ind the liberation of all 

11. We Will Intervene 
to Change History ! 
"Marxism is not a dogma, but a guide 
to action." The Spartacist League, as 
a national section of the international 
Trotskyist movement, is in the fore- 
front of the struggle for a socialist 
future. Our day-to-day preparation of 
the working class and our intervention 
and leadership in the decisive moments 
of the class struggle will propel the 
struggle forward to the final victory. 
"To face reality squarely; not to seek 
the line of least resistance; to call 
things by their right names; to speak 
the truth to the masses, no matter how 
bitter it may be; not to fear obstacles; 
to be true in little things as in big 
ones; to base one's program on the 
logic of the class struggle; to be bold 
when the hour for action arrives — 
these are the rules of the Fourth Inter- 
national." These are the rules of the 
Spartacist League as we go forward in 
the historical task of leading the work- 
ing class to the victory of socialism in 
the United States! 

— General line unanimously adopt- 
ed by Founding Conference, 2 
September 196fi. 
— Final draft approved by Politi- 
cal Bureau, 8 November 1966. 

14 — 


Defend Latin American Revolutionists! 

Hugo Blanco, the Peruvian peasant leader, is again m desperate 
peril. He was initially sentenced to twenty-five years in prison for the 
deaths of three rural guards in a clash growing out of his successful 
organization of the utterly downtrodden and mercilessly abused land- 
less Indians. He is now being retried before the "Supreme Council of 
Military Justice" and the prosecution is demanding the death sen- 
tence ! All concerned with his safety and freedom should immediately 
cable protests to "Consejo Supremo de Justicia," or to Presidente 
Belaunde; address: Lima, Peru. 

A united committee in the U.S. for the defense of Latin American 
political prisoners is now being set up. 

✓ V 


London, England 
We have just received the last edi- 
tion of 'Spartacist.' We were very 
pleased to see the article protesting 
against the arrest and persecution of 
Trotskyists in Mexico, Guatemala and 
the Workers States. You are doing a 
great service to the World Revolution 
and to the IV International by the cam- 
paign you are waging for the release 
of Gilly and the seven Trotskyists im- 
prisoned in Mexico. In Central America 
there is a united front of Imperialism, 
the Soviet Bureaucracy and all the 
conservative leaderships who, by strik- 
ing at the Trotskyist vanguard, are 
trying to intimidate the masses. In this 
situation it is the duty of all honest 
revolutionaries to struggle against this 
campaign of intimidation and terror. 

We thank you for your efforts, and 
send to the 'Spartacist' comrades the 
warm fraternal greetings of the British 
section of the IV International. 
John L. Davis 

for the Revolutionary Workers 
Party [Posadas] 

Subscribe to 


Monthly Spanish pubh'cation of 
the Spartacist League 

Box 1377, G.P.O., New York, N.Y. 10001 

12 issues -50c 
Write for issue no. 1, free, containing: 

Puerto Rico Socialista y el Nacionalismo 

Una Tricontinental Castrada 

La Comuna de Santo Domingo 

Delano — Triunfo o Derrota? 

Issue no. 2, December 1966, will contain an 
article on FAR and MR13 in Guatemala. 

The following is the text of a cable- 
gram sent Friday evening, 11 Novem- 
ber 1966: 





(Continued from Page 10) 

exploitation, a mass organization of 
black workers around a program of 
organized self-defense, independent po- 
litical action, and other transitional 
demands is needed. The tasks of black- 
ening the Spartacist League and devel- 
oping a black Trotskyist cadre were 
described as cential to the goals of the 
SL during the coming period. 

Guide to Action 

Another key point on the Conference 
agenda was the discussion and adop- 
tion of the main line of "Tasks of the 
Spartacist League: Theses on Building 
the Revolutionary Movement in the 
U.S." The document and report by Na- 
tional Chairman James Robertson af- 
firmed the determination of the Sparta- 
cist League to root itself in the various 
arenas of class struggle in this coun- 
try, and outlined the general and spe- 
cific tasks necessary to' implement this. 
Discussing problems of the trade un- 
ion, anti-war, civil rights and "New 
Left" movements, the document saw the 

development of the Spartacist League 
into a propaganda group sufficient in 
size to intervene in action in every ma- 
jor class struggle, with a regular 
monthly press, as the goal in the next 
period. Amendments on anti-war work, 
cadre-building, and press policy were 
adopted to make the draft theses more 
comprehensive. This document, which 
will serve as a guide to action and as 
an introduction to the Spartacist 
League, is presently being prepared for 

Local reports by representatives of 
the various areas indicated the accom- 
plishments, problems, and plans of 
each group. The National Report by 
Comrade Nelson pointed to the growth 
of the Spartacist tendency from two 
locals to a national network with com- 
mittees in all sections of the country. 
The need was emphasized to build 
cadre to overcome the break-up and 
stagnation in the revolutionary move- 
ment which the SL faces as the inheri- 
tor of the Marxist tradition in this 
country. Also heard was a report on 
the necessity of building a united left- 
wing defense for Adolf o Gilly and 
other imprisoned Latin American Trot- 
skyists. Earlier, Conference delegates 

and visitors had picketed the Mexican 
Tourist Office demanding the release of 
these comrades. An open meeting Sat- 
urday night made public the formation 
and aims of the Spartacist League, and 
several membei-s described the expe- 
riences in struggle which led them to 
recognize the necessity for revolution- 
ary struggle in this country. 

Leninist Vanguard 

Final point on the Conference agen- 
da was the election of the new Central 
Committee following a thorough dis- 
cussion by the delegates of the qualifi- 
cations of each nominee. The entire 
Conference then reconvened, the new 
leadership was announced, and the 
Conference adjourned with the singing 
of The Internationale. The founding of 
the Spartacist League in the United 
States is a major step forward in the 
construction of a Leninist yanguard 
party in this country and an advance 
in the world revolutionary struggle for 
socialism. Above all, it symbolized the 
continuing validity of Marxism-Lenin- 
ism by defiantly procljfiming to the 
world that despite every obstacle Amer- 
ican imperialism would place in our 
way, "We Are Here!" ■ 


— 15 

. . SNCC 

(Continued frOm Page 16) 
lillusions about the nature of the bour- 
geois State, implying that all that is 
needed is to put Black men into the 
State bureaucratic machine. Marxists 
must point out that the State itself, 
like the Democratic Party, is a tool of 
the ruling class and cannot be "taken 
over" by class-conscious elements — it 
must be smashed. 

One corollary of the black-white out- 
look has been the idea that only Black 
people must organize in the Black 
community, and whites must organize 
whites, whether for civil rights or any 
other struggle. As a tactic this idea is 
probably wise for neighborhood organ- 
ization, but it has been raised to the 
level of principle by many Black Power 
advocates, thereby becoming an ob- 
struction to class-oriented organization 
for struggle. 

Bridge to White Workers 

Can the white working class be won 
over to a Black workers' struggle 
against capitalism? The white working 
class has been generally quiescent and 
largely racist for about 20 years, but 
with the deepening of contradictions in 
the American economy white workers 
are being hit hard by inflation and the 
domestic repercussion of a growing im- 
perialist war. Recent signs of revolt, 
such as the Machinists' bitter strike 
against the airlines, indicate that sec- 
tions of the white working class may 
be ready for militant anti-capitalist 
struggle. Black militants, being in gen- 
eral more class conscious (as well as 
race conscious), can help considerably 
in raising the class consciousness of 
white workers and thereby gain valu- 
able allies for the Black , Liberation 
struggle. The formulation and execu- 
tion of a class program for Black work- 
ers would form the necessary bridge 
to the white working class, stimulating 
its consciousness and militancy. 

Such a program should at least in- 
clude the following demands: 
— For a Freedom-Labor Party — to 
break the labor movement from its 
bondage to the Democrats, who provide 
only war, inflation and wage freezes; 
— For a Southern organizing drive, 
supported by organized labor — to 
strengthen both the labor movement 
and the Black people; 
— For a workers' united front against 
Federal intervention — to counter the 
increasing tendency of the government 
to intervene in struggles with forces to 
uphold the ruling class; 
— For a sliding scale of wages — to keep 
purchasing power in pace with living 
costs ; 

— For a shorter work week with no loss 
in pay — to provide more jobs without 
making the white worker feel threat- 
ened by job loss; 

— Organization of the unemployed — by 
the unions, so links are created between 
the employed and unemployed worker. 

Along with these demands, of course, 
the Black Power advocates ' should con- 
tinue to raise demands designed to 
meet the special needs of the Black 
people, who suffer the extra burden 
of racism which white workers do not 
face. Such demands should include: 
— For organized, armed self-defense — 
to protect against racist terror and po- 
lice brutality; 

— For the right of inspection of the 
jails and for the disarming of the po- 
lice — to reduce the power of the cops 
to terrorize innocent people. 

One Social Revolution! 

These demands and the struggle ne- 
cessary to achieve them can only be 
seriously considered within the context 
of a social revolution, which alone can 
achieve political and economic power 
and social justice for the majority of 
Black people — that is, workers. But the 
need for social revolution is not felt 
only among Black people; . unemploy- 
ment, inflation, poverty and all the 
problems of this society are imposed 
by the capitalist ruling class on black 
and white workers alike. There is only 
one ruling class, one State power, and 
one struggle must be waged against 
that power. 

Black and White Vanguard 

To unite and lead the working class 
in this fight is the task of the vanguard 
party. The division of the working 
class into hostile black and white sec- 
tions is a direct result of the oppres- 
sion by the ruling class and is care- 
fully nurtured by it in order to alle- 
viate some of the contradictions of cap- 
italism. And it would be a fatal error 
to assume that the centuries-old racial 
antagonisms will all be^ gone before 
the working class can come to power. 
The American revolution, if it is to 
succeed, will be the result of struggle 
by black and white working people, led 
by class-conscious militants joined in 
the Marxist-Leninist party. Black mili- 
tants can and must play a key role in 
the building of this vanguard party, 
and only the success of revolutionary 
forerunners — such as the Spartacist 
League — ^^in winning the allegiance of 
militant Black workers and students 
now can assure the success of the fu- 
ture vanguard. Those who feel that the 
pxinciple of race is more important 
than the reality of class in the strug- 
gle against the "Establishment" are 
doomed to failure; even as is either 
the black or white sections of the work- 
ing class if it attempts to carry out a 
social revolution alone. It is for these 
reasons that we urge SNCC and other 
Black militants to fight with us, for a 
united working class program, for the 
coming revolution! ■ 



#1 In Defense of a Kevolutionary Per- 
spective — basic position of the Rev- 
olutionary Tendency 25c 

#2 Nature of the Socialist Workers 
Party — Revolutionary or Centrist? 


#5 For the Materialist Conception of 
the Negro Question — reprint of R. 
Fraser's critique of Black Nation- 
alism 25c 

#8 Cuba and Marxist Theory— Select- 
ed Documents on the Cuban Ques- 
tion 35c 

Order from: SPARTACIST 

Box 1377, G.P.O. 
New York, N.Y. 10001 

Spartacist Local Directory 

AUSTIN. Box 8165, Univ. Sta., Austin, Texas 
78712. phone: GR 2-3716. 

BALTIMORE. Box 1345, Main P.O., Baltimore, 
Md. 21203. phone: LA 3-3703. 

BERKELEY. Box 852. Main P.O., Beri<eley, Calif. 
94701. phone: TH 8-7369. 

CHICAGO. Box 6044, Main P.O., Chicago, III. 
60680. phone: 281-4296. 

COLUMBUS. Box 3142, Univ. Sta., Columbus, 

Ohio 43210. 

EUREKA. Box 3061, Eureka, Calif. 95501. 
phone: 442-1423. 

HARTFORD. Box 57, Blue Hill Sta., Hartford, 
Conn. 06112. phone: 525-1257. 

HOUSTON. Box 18434, Eastwood Sta., Houston, 
Texas 77023. 

ITHACA. Box 442, Ithaca, N.Y. 14851. phone: 
549-91 19. 

LOS ANGELES. Box 4054, Terminal Annex, Los 
Angeles, Calif. 90054. phone: 783-4793. 

MISSISSIPPI, (contact New Orleans) 

NEW ORLEANS. Box 8121, Gentilly Sta., New 
Orleans, La. 70122. phone: 522-2194. 

NEW YORK. Box 1377, G.P.O., New York City, 
N.Y. 10001. phones: National OfTice-UN 6- 
3093; Uptown-UN 5-6670; Downtown- 477- 

PHILADELPHIA. Box 1827, Wm. Penn Annex, 
Philadelphia, Pa. 19105. 

SAN FRANCISCO (contact Berkeley) 

SEATTLE (contact Berkeley or New York) 

YOUNGSTOWN (contact Columbus or New 

Fraternal Group 

SEATTLE. Freedom Socialist Party of Washing- 
ton. Freeway Hall, 3815 Fifth Ave. N.&., 
Seattle, Wash. 98105. phone: ME 2-7449. 

16 — 




SNCC and Revolution 

In 1964 the Student Non-Violent Co- 
ordinating Committee worked with the 
Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party 
in an attempt to seat the MFDP at 
the Democratic Convention. They were 
refused in favor of the white racists. 
The result of this snub by the ruling 
class was to push SNCC and its follow- 
ers into a more radical posture. SNCC 
workers began to question the purpose 
of voter registration if voters then had 
nothing worthwhile for which to vote, 
and they began to raise the question of 
independent politics. 

In early 1966 other incidents gave 
rise to more radical ideas. At a "Poor 
People's Conference," held at Mount 
Beulah, Mississippi, in January 1966, 
the participants, desperate for food and 
shelter, decided to occupy the deserted 
Greenville Air Force Base. They were 
promptly and violently removed by 
Federal authorities. This incident 
smashed many illusions about the na- 
ture of the' Government. 

Anti-War Stand 

Meanwhile SNCC militants, seeing 
the connection between the oppression 
at home and the U.S. war in Asia, is- 
sued an angry statement, which read 
in part: 

"We are in sympathy with and sup- 
port the men in this country who are 
unwilling to respond to the military 
draft which would compel them to con- 
tribute their lives to U.S. aggression 
in the name of the 'freedom' we find so 
false in this country." 

All these trends culminated in the 
May 1966 election of Stokely Carmi- 
chael as SNCC chairman. The organ- 
ization's new position was summarized 
in the 23 May statement on the White 
House Civil Rights Conference. SNCC 
denounced the conference as an attempt 
by Johnson to improve the image of 
the U.S. 

SNCC's empirical rejection of the 
more obvious brands of reformism ad- 
vocated by white liberals and petty- 
bourgeois Black "leaders" has taken 
the form of a call for "Black Power," 
a militant-sounding phrase which 
frightens the white liberals and Uncle 
Toms. The concepts implied in the 
SNCC slogan of "Black Power" are 
radical enough to have caused the 
bourgeois press and politicians to show- 
er vicious abuse on it, precisely because 
the slogan is a groping for solutions 
outside the framework of the capital- 
ist society. 

It is clear that SNCC and Carmi- 
chael want Black people to have some 

kind of "independence" from the power 
structure so they can achieve libera- 
tion. However, one must have a pro. 
grwm to steer by, 'and SNCC's is at 
best rather vague. So-called Marxist 
organs like The Militant and Progres- 
sive Labor offer no help in this prob- 
lem, as they applaud uncritically every 
new development in the Black libera- 
tion movement. 

Class Politics 
SNCC's program is essentially con- 
tained in the recent position paper ex- 
plaining the concept of Black Power. 
The paper states in part: "If we are to 
proceed towards true liberation, we 
must cut ourselves off from white peo- 
ple. . . . We must form our ovm in- 
stitutions, credit unions, co-ops, politi- 
cal parties, write our own histories." 
But as a program such a view can lead 
to no serious improvement of the con- 
ditions of Black people. For the pri- 
mary division of capitalist society is 
class division, and racial divisions have 

been traditionally used by the ruling 
class to maintain its hold on society. It 
is precisely the lack of a cZass-conscious 
position, and the predominance of a 
race-nation outlook in the SNCC posi- 
tion which leaves it open to serious 
practical errors. 

In the deep South SNCC found it 
impossible to work in the racist Demo- 
cratic Party; however, in the North, 
SNCC's position is much more ambigu- 
ous — for instance, Carmichael endorses 
the "National Conference for New Pol- 
itics," a peace group organized by 
right-wing socialists, Stalinists, and 
reform Democrats. The group is not in- 
dependent from the bourgeois parties, 
and its preferred "peace" candidate for 
President in 1968 is Robert Kennedy! 
SNCC's black-white outlook also tends 
to gloss over the serious conflict in 
class interests between the petty-bour- 
geois Black leaders and the Black 

The black-white outlook also fosters 
(Continued on Page 15) 

Victory for Gallashaw 

The acquittal of 17-year-old Ernest 
Gallashaw of framed-up murder 
charges on 13 October in N.Y. State 
Supreme Court was a defeat for the 
racist cops in Brooklyn who plotted 
the frame-up, and an example to Black 
people in all the ghettoes that oppres- 
sion by the ruling class can be success- 
fully fought. Gallashaw was freed pri- 
marily because the "evidence" was so 
blatantly invented, and the testimony 
of the brow-beaten witnesses obviously 
the result of coercion that even the 
New York Times made an expose of it. 
But actually winning the victory de- 
pended on the articulate, determined 
defense campaign waged by Mrs. Gal- 
lashaw, friends and Black militants 
from several organizations, including; 
N.Y. CORE and the Harlem Organiz- 
ing Committee. Reform Democrat law- 
yer Paul O'Dwyer included in his de- 
fense summary a strong indictment of 
the Bi'ooklyn police and D.A. for their 
"strong desire" to see that a Negro 
was found guilty of shooting a Negro 
during the East New York disturb- 
ances. The real murderer of Eric Dean, 
of course, will never be prosecuted al- 
though defense witnesses identified him 
as a white boy "called little Joe." The 

cops will never admit that it is white 
terrorism and white racism that causes 
the so-called "riots." ■ 

Ernest Gallashaw 
(in police car) 

LEON TROTSKY on Centrism Page 8 






FACING 1967 

Ronald Reagan has been elected governor of Califor- 
nia, and there is a fluttering in the dovecotes of the 
Academy and gloom in the buzzard-hatches of the Labor 
Temples. The impact of the Democratic defeat comes 
not only from the fact itself but also from its magni- 
tude. Reagan won by almost one million votes, carry- 
ing 57 per cent of the electorate and every county 
except the Democratic-labQr strongholds of San Fran- 
cisco and Alameda, and the politically insignificant 
Plumas. Not only v^^as Reagan victorious, but so was 
most of his slate. While the odds in Las Vegas were 
six to five for Reagan, no one was even quoting odds 
on the other statewide Republican contenders, so slim 
were their chances considered to be. Yet the GOP swept 
every state office except that of attorney-general. The 
repudiation of the Democrats at the polls was clear, 
decisive and overwhelming. 

Despite the best efforts of both sides to prevent the 
emergence of any serious issues, three factors emerge 
as significant in leading to the Democratic defeat. 
The first of these, of course, is the famous "white back- 
lash," a factor to which the Democrats are eager to 
attribute their defeat, but which is real nonetheless. 

USA of the USA 

The existence of this sentiment in California should 
be no surprise to those not bemused by the state's lib- 
eral image. Essentially, California is the USA of the 
USA. There has been a large immigration from all 
parts of the country; its agriculture is the ultimate 
in capitalist farming; it is highly industrialized, rela- 
tively prosperous, literate, racist; and it shows an in- 
tense form of split-level Coca-Cola culture. The use of 
the term "backlash" is therefore perhaps unfortunate. 
It implies that this sentiment has been created de novo 
as a reaction to Black aggressiveness or Black violence. 
Stokely Carmichael points out correctly that this is not 
the case; that, rather, "backlash" is a public assertion 
of a position always held, now challenged for the first 
time by the civil-rights movement. "Backlash" is the 
political action of whites struggling to defend the 
white supremacy they have always cherished. National 
COPE (Committee on Political Education) thought 
that the backlash sentiment was prevalent enough 
among unionists to necessitate a national mailing to 
trade union members, the sense of which was a call 
to vote their pocketbooks, not their racist sentiments. 

Unfortunately for the Democrats, it failed to make a 
convincing case that the workers' pocketbooks would 
be served by a Democratic victory. In 1966 racist sen- 
timent in California coalesced around Reagan. 

A second factoi-, claimed by the GOP as decisive for 
their victory, was a reaction by the petty-bourgeois 
property owners and substantial sections of the work- 
ing class to inflationary pressures against theJr stand- 
ard of living, especially in the form of increased prop- 
erty taxes. These pressures are associated with the 
Democrats nationally and with Brown in California. 
These same elements blame the Democrats chiefly for 
their allegedly generous welfare program. Since Black 
people do in fact, and even more in the white middle- 
class mind, form a large portion of the welfare i-olls, 
the welfare issue gives the white small-property owner 
a splendid opportunity to combine his racial and class 

General Malaise 

A third factor, the least tangible, and by many denied 
even to exist, is what can at present only be described 
as a general malaise and disquietude. This is a feeling 
that, despite the split-level homes, the high level of 
employment and general material well-being, something 
at bottom is wrong with the social order, even for 
those who, unlike farm workers, Black people and 
other out-groups, participate fully in it and enjoy its 
material benefits. Given the Democratic insistence that 
everything is really just fine, and the inability of the 
left to give a meaningful articulation to this general 
malaise, it is not surprising that Reagan's jeremiads 
have capitalized on this trend. Reagan, at least, knows 
something is wrong. 

Instead of meeting these tendencies, of course, Brown 
tried to build his campaign around two false issues: 
Reagan's inexperience and Birch-baiting. (This latter 
was carried to ridiculous lengths, which, had the' roles 
been reversed, would have led to frantic cries of "Mc- 
Carthyism" from the liberals. As it was, Reagan wise- 
ly left the baiting to Brown, although Communist 
Party support to Brown was at least as obvious and 
open as Birchite support to Reagan.) 

The national results, also, do not bear out the thesis 
of a simple white supremacist reaction. True, New 
York City had its Proposition 14 in the repeal of the 
(Continued on Page 13) 



A Bimonthly Organ of Revolutionary Marxism 

EDITORS: James Robertson; Managing, Helen Janacek; 
Wesf Coosf, Geoffrey White; Southern, Joseph Vetter. 

Subscription: 50c yearly. Bundle rates for 10 or more copies. 
Main address: Box 1377, G.P.O., New York, N. Y. 10001. Tele- 
phone: WA 5-2426. Western address: P.O. Box 852, Berkeley, Calif. 
94701. Telephone: TH 8-7369. Southern address: P.O. Box 8121, 
New Orleans, La. 70122. Telephone: 522-2194. 

Published by the Central Committee of the Spartacist League. 
Opinions expressed in signed articles do not necessarily represent 
an editorial viewpoint. 

Number 9 x.523 Jan.-Feb. 1967 


An Open Letter to Other 
Supporters of the IC 

There is today a gross scandal in the Trotskyist inove« 
ment, involving charges of -an extremely serious nature 
leveled against the leadership of the Bi-itish Socialist 
Labour League (SLL). Because of the political sim- 
ilarity between the Spartacist League and the SLL, 
and the close organizational relations existing at va- 
rious times in the past, we feel it our responsibility to 
make our views on the matters involved clear and un- 

* * * 

The content of the charges is revealed in the follow- 
ing letter circulated by Ernest Tate. 
"Dear Editor, 

"I believe it is a tradition in England that all social- 
ists should be allowed to sell or distribute their litera- 
ture, without hindrance or fear of violence, outside 
public meetings. I would like to report an outrageous 
violation of this tradition to your readers and ask for 
their assistance in preventing it from happening again. 

"As quite a number of people on the Left know, I 
manage Pioneer Book Seiwice, a large outlet for Trot- 
sky's books in England, and I or some of my friends 
try to cover most meetings with our literature. On 
Thursday, 17th November, I went along to Caxton 
Hall to sell literature outside the Socialist Labour 
League's meeting on the 10th anniversary of the Hun- 
garian revolution. 

"I arrived at 7:15 p.m. and began to sell the Interna- 
tional Socialisit Review and a pamphlet, critical of the 
S.L.L., entitled "Healy 'Reconstructs' the Fourth Inter- 
national." Several people were selling literature. A 
group of Irish Communists were selling their publica- 
tion and someone was selling the English Militant. 

"Initially there was .some baiting of me by the So- 
cialist Labour League supporters who were selling the 

Newsletter in the doorway of Caxton Hall, but never- 
theless I was not prevented from selling. 

"At 7:50, Gerry Healy and Michael Banda entered 
the hall. A few seconds later Healy came to the entrance 
and indicated to his followers that I should be removed 
from the front of the hall. 

"I was immediately set upon and physically assaulted 
by six or seven Socialist Labour League supporters. 
My literature was knocked from my hands — I was 
punched and thrown to the ground, my glasses were 
smashed, and as I lay on the ground I was kicked re- 
peatedly in the groin and stomach. 

"After the attack I had to attend the casualty depart- 
ment of Middlesex Hospital and I was forced to stay in 
bed for the greater part of the next day. At the mo- 
ment of writing I am still badly bruised. 

"The issue is a simple one. The Socialist Labour 
League Leadership hope by their actions to prevent me 
selling my literature outside their meetings. They hope 
to take away my freedom of speech. This attack comes 
after a number of threats against me and my friends 
by members or supporters of the Socialist Labour 
League. At Brighton during the Labour Party Confer- 
ence, my comrades were physically threatened and pre- 
vented from selling our literature. The same was true 
at the recent anti-war demonstration in Liege, Bel- 
gium, where I was threatened. 

"I refuse to be intimidated. Neither a Fascist Mosley 
nor an ultra-left sectarian Gerry Healy who imagines 
himself to be a Trotskyist, should be allowed to curtail 
our democratic rights. I intend to be present at the 
next public meeting of the Socialist Labour League to 
sell my literature. I ask for the full support from all 
people on the Left to ensure I do it without interfer- 
ence from the misguided followers of Gerry Healy. 

» * * 

Following the circulation of this letter among Left 
and labor circles in England and its reprinting by sev- 
eral radical publications, the SLL instituted legal pro- 
ceedings against Comrade Tate and threatened publica- 
tions printing Tate's letter with the same treatment. 

"Alighting from Coaches" 

That Healy had Tate beaten is not disputed — in fact 
it is defended, as being within the framework of bour- 
geois "law and order." According to Healy's lawyers, 
the Tate letter "described a disturbance on the pave- 
ment outside Caxton Hall, where the meeting loas be- 
ing held at which our client was a speaker. The letter 
states that Mr. Healy indicated to his follotvers that the 
writer of the letter should be removed from the front 
of the Hall and that he was assaulted by supporters of 
the Socialist Labour League. We are instructed that 
this is inaccurate. Mr. Healy, in fact, asked a steward 
to clear the pavement in front of the entrance to the 
Hall in order to allow passengers alighting from coach- 
es to enter the Hall without being obstructed." 

This grotesque legal language only serves to point 
up the hypocrisy of a man claiming to be a proletarian 
revolutionary leader using such a law — from the period 
when lords and ladies descending from their coaches 
had the right to smash beggars, petitioners, children 
and anyone else in their way — against another mem- 
ber of the labor movement. 


Healy's legal action was clearly in- 
tended to intimidate other publications 
from printing the letter and to end 
public discussion of the whole matter. 
Two of the papers which had printed 
the letter, the Socialist Leader and 
Peace News, issued retractions and 
paid the costs demanded by Healy. 

Perhaps Healy's having Tate beaten 
might have been rationalized as an un- 
controlled individual outburst of an- 
ger; but the appeal to "the Queen's 
Justice" implicates the entire SLL 
leadership, both in the initial hooligan- 
ism and in the attempt to suppress 
discussion within the workers' move- 


Such tactics applied internally are 
not nev/ to Healy. We have not pre- 
viously spoken of the atmosphere of 
physical intimidation that surrounded 
the April London Conference, but it 
was present. We have since heard well- 
authenticated accounts of the use by 
the SLL leadership of calculated vio- 
lence ("punch-ups") to silence internal 
critics. We already knew that Healy had 
developed a technique which destroyed 
the revolutionary morality of those 
around him by systematically forcing 
them to make false confession against 
themselves. It was for refusing to do 
this that Spartacist was expelled from 
the April Conference of the Interna- 
tional Committee. 

What has now led Healy to employ 
these tactics outside his movement? 
This summer the Socialist Workers 
Party (SWF) issued' for their qwn 
purposes a pamphlet on the April Con- 
ference entitled "Healy 'Reconstructs' 
the Fourth International," the one Tate 
was attempting to sell outside the SLL 
meeting. The pamphlet consists mainly 
of correspondence between Spartacist 
and the SLL prior to and following 
the Conference. It lays bare — most 
clearly in Healy's own words — the 
criminal wrecking tactics he employs 
within the international Trotskyist 
movement. In denouncing the pamphlet 
in the 20 August Newsletter, the Po- 
litical Committee of the SLL stated: 
"We shall not hesitate to deal appro- 
priately with the handful of United 
Secretariat agents who hawk it around 
the cynical fake-left in England." 
"Outside the Working Class" 

Healy has attempted to put a theo- 
retical face on his actions against sup- 
porters of the SWP — one similar to 
that used by the Stalinists in the thir- 
ties to justify their gangster attacks 
on Trotskyists. Then Trotskyists were 
labelled "counter-revolutionary" and 
beaten when they attempted to circu- 
late literature explaining what was 
happening in the Soviet Union. The 
SLL at a "Special Conference" held 
26 and 27 November passed a Declara- 
tion on the Socialist Workers Party, 

printed in the 3 December Newsletter 
and reprinted in the Bulletin. The doc- 
ument describes the SWP as turning 
completely away from the working 
class." The dispute between the SLL 
and the SWP is "a fight between the 
working class avd the servants of the 
class enemy." It states: "We tell the 
SWP: The days when you could ad- 
dress us as 'comrades' are long since 
gone. Your political actions have placed 
you outside the camp of Trotskyism 
and of the working class. . . . There 
can be not the slightest question of 
your telling us what we must do to re- 
establish our reputation with you." At 
the conclusion of the document appears 
the statement: "The issues raised in 
the Nov. 21st letter by Farrell Dobbs, 
Secretary of the Socialist Workers 
Party, about what happened at Cax- 

TROTSKY denouncing machine gun at- 
tack on him by Stalinist gangsters. 

ton Hall on the night of November 
17th, we cannot discuss at this stage 
for legal reasons." Yet even if sup- 
porters of the SWP must be cleared 
from the streets as "servants of the 
class enemy," the appeal against them 
to the bourgeois courts is not explain- 
ed. The Trotskyist movement has al- 
ways opposed any appeal to the bour- 
geois state, even against Fascists. 

Healy Exposed 
The turn by Healy and the SLL 
leadership to the political methods of 
the petty bourgeoisie and to the bour- 
geois courts is not the action of either 
genuine revolutionists or of "ultra- 
left sectarians." Such methods have 
no relation to the formal politics of 
the SLL, the politics of revolutionary 
Trotskyism. How is this contradiction 
to be explained? We say that Healy is 
an aggressive and greedy adventurer 
whose particular politics have changed 
frequently. At the present he is claim- 
ing to adhere to the revolutionary 
Marxist program of Trotskyism. To- 
morrow his politics will be something 
else, just as they were only a few 

years ago when Healy was indistin- 
guishable from the Bevanites in the 
Labour Party. Furthermore, Healy is 
an adventurer peculiarly preoccupied 
with sharp financial deals and with 
technical and material matters. His 
Plough Press does heavy commercial 
work — using his comrades' labor. He 
believes that "weak" national sections 
should financially support the "strong" 
one, i.e., his. Thus in 1961 he took over 
$1,000 from those of us who were then 
his supporters in this country in order 
to make a world tour. The tour never 
materialized, nor was the money re- 
turned or otherwise accounted for. 
(Copies of the relevant correspondence 
and cancelled checks would be avail- 
able to any bona-fide workers' inves- 
tigating commission.) Since then Healy 
has always sought, successfully, to 
conduct his relations with comrades in 
the U.S. at a profit. Churchill once de- 
scribed England as a nation of small 
businessmen. Healy stands as the left 
wing of his nation. 

Sack Healy! 
The persistent adherence by the 
Spartacist League to the revolutionary 
principles and program of Trotskyism, 
to which Healy gives lip service, have 
twice led Healy to break with and at- 
tempt to destroy us. Because of this 
adherence, the Spartacist League is 
not now besmirched by the public ex- 
posure of the gangster tactics Healy 
uses. Just as Fariell Dobb's telegram 
of condolences to Mrs. Kennedy came 
as a revelation, even to those who were 
most aware of the deepening revision- 
ism of the SWP, so Healy's outrageous 
beating of Tate, compounded by drag- 
ging the victim before the courts of 
Elizabeth II's England, is a striking 
exposure of his and his leading com- 
mittee's bankruptcy as revolutionists. 
To the members of the SLL and the 
other sections of the IC, we say: OUST 

In the United States the American 
Committee for the Fourth International 
(ACFI) has consistently aped Healy. 
Its members have now individually de- 
fended Healy's attack on Tate by say- 
ing, "Well, we want to smash Pablo- 
ites, don't we?" while the Bulletin re- 
prints Healy's cynical statement that 
questions pertaining to "the events 
around Caxton Hall" cannot be dis- 
cussed "for legal reasons." The ACFI 
members, whose initial weaknesses 
were exploited by Healy in typical 
Comintern fashions, are now being 
made to accept and justify ever greater 
departures from revolutionary prac- 
tice. As with Stalin's Comintern, . sec- 
tions that have developed along this 
path have no inner stamina to resist 
any threat or any "opportunity" do- 
mestically. At the first opportunity we 
will see ACFI's vaunted "internation- 
(Continued Bottom Next Page) 


Crisis for Welfare Union 

New York City welfare workers face 
an uncertain future, with their old 
contract having expired 31 December, 
and with no new contract in sight. The 
only thing made clear during bargain- 
ing so far is that the leadership of the 
Social Service Employees Union 
(SSEU) is hoping against hope that 
the City will simply offer an "accept- 
able" contract and that real struggle 
can be avoided. Thus, though bargain- 
ing has proceeded since 3 November 
without producing agreement in even 
a single area, the Mage leadership in- 
credibly placed the blame on the union 
("slowness in presenting our de- 
mands") and several weeks prior to 
the expiration of the contract requested 
authorization to extend bargaining for 
an additional month. Then when the 
City returned to the bargaining table 
after an insulting walk-out — its re- 
sponse to the first extension — the 
SSEU leadership requested a second 
extension and actually issued a leaflet 

. . . HEALY 

alism" (i.e., loyalty to a British clique) 
change into the most vicious American 

As for the SWP, it is certainly their 
right to factionally use against their 
political opponents this act of hooli- 
ganism. However, as Oscar Wilde once 
pointed out, hypocrisy is the acknowl- 
edgement vice pays to virtue. The SWP 
today is chasing after the same paci- 
fists, Stalinists and middle-class ele- 
ments who have been and will be guilty 
of the most serious violence against 
the working class and its left wing, 
both directly and through the bourge- 
ois state. However, despite the motives 
of the SWP, its objective call at the 
present time for democracy within the 
labor movement is correct. We concur, 
only insisting that this democracy be 
applied impartially to all sections of 
the workers' movement. Furthermore, 
we are for the defense by any measures 
necessary of the right of Tate or any- 
one else within the workers' movement 
to press their opinions. The legal de- 
fense imposed on Tate certainly merits 
the support of all militants, and con- 
tributions for this purpose may be sent 
to him c/o Pioneer Book Service, 8 
Toynbee Street, London, E.l, England. 

Trotsky's Method 
In addition to the defense of Tate, 
what can be done to apply the maxi- 
mum pressure against repetitions of 
this conduct? Trotsky has offered us 
an example of how to proceed in his 
article, "A Case for a Labor Jury — 
Against All Types of Gangsterism in 
the Working Class Movement; On the 

praising the City for even engaging in 
negotiations! Such moves, revealing to 
both the City and the union's own 
rank and file a lack of will and confi- 
dence at the top, have begun to foster 
disorganization and loss of confidence 
below — doubly incriminating to the 
Mage policy because the initial re- 
sponse of the workers to the consistent 
arrogance of the City had been one of 
growing anger and determination to 

City's Intentions 

Despite the hopefulness and prof- 
erred good will of the Mage leadership, 
there is no reason whatsoever to think 
that the City will willingly offer an 
acceptable contract or that all that is 
involved is working out an ''equitable" 
agreement on wages, caseloads and the 
like. Rather, a quick review of the 
City's financial situation and its ac- 
tions vis-a-vis the union over the last 
two years reveals that the City desires 
nothing less than the destruction of the 

SSEU as an effective instrument of 
labor struggle. At the present it is 
hoping to accomplish this through 
either a divided strike or the accept- 
ance by the union leadership of a rot- 
ten contract, without struggle and in 
the hope of avoiding struggle. Either 
would be equally devastating to the 
future of the SSEU. 

One of the fastest growing sections 
of the country's labor force is govern- 
ment employment — traditionally poor- 
ly or docilely organized. It was the ex- 
ample of the SSEU's militant and suc- 
cessful 28-day strike two years ago 
which directly inspired vigorous strug- 
gles and Igains by many other sections 
of New York City employees, and in- 
deed helped spark similar organizing 
and strike actions among teachers, 
nurses, and welfare workers across the 
nation. Furthermore, the success of 
the "Committee for Collective Bargain- 
ing" — an SSEU-originated alliance of 
eleven unions of City workers — in halt- 

Murder of the Italian Stalinist Mon- 
tanari." In this emigre quarrel the 
killer had apparently been victimized 
by the Stalinists and after resorting 
to violence he was for a time falsely 
linked by them to the Trotskyists. The 
conduct of the Italian Communist Par- 
ty then roughly corresponds to the 
SLL's now. The conclusion of the ar- 
ticle from the New Militant, 5 October 
1935, is reprinted here: 

". . . The Montanari-Beiso case is 
important precisely because a conflict 
on the political plane has led to a 
supremely senseless act of murder of 
one emigre by another. In this there 
lies an ominously serious warning, and 
it is necessary to grasp its significance 
in time! 

"The matter is now in the hands of 
the bourgeois law courts. The official 
investigation is obviously not intended 
to cast light on the bloody tragedy 
from the standpoint of revolutionary 
morals of the proletariat. The prose- 
cution will probably try only to com- 
promise the proletarian emigres and 
the revolutionary organizations in par- 
ticular. But the agents of the Com- 
intern will also try to exploit the trial 
for every vile purpose, as they are 
obliged to do. The duty of workers' 
organizations, without any regard for 
political banners, lies in one thing: in 
shedding the greatest light possible on 
this case, and thereby, insofar as it is 
possible, to prevent the repetition of 
gunplay in revolutionary circles. 

"In our opinion, the labor organiza- 
tions must establish, without any 
further delay, an authoritative and 
non-partisan Committee which would 
go over the entire material, including 

Beiso's letters mentioned in I'Human- 
ite, to examine all the witnesses and 
representatives of the parties and 
groups who are concerned or interested 
in the case, so that the political, moral 
and personal circumstances in the case 
be clearly established. This is neces- 
sary not only in memory of Montanari, 
not only to reveal Beiso's real motives, 
but also to purge the atmosphere of 
all working class organizations of 
treachery, calumny, hounding and gun 
play. Naturally the interests of the 
case would be best served if the repre- 
sentatives of VHumanite and of the 
Central Committee of the Italian CP. 
were to take part in this Committee. 
But we may safely predict that they 
will most certainly refuse: these poli- 
ticians stand only to lose fi'om an im- 
partial investigation, and much more 
than would appear on the surface. But 
the investigation ought not to be 
wrecked by their refusal to participate. 
Every honest participant in the labor 
movement is deeply interested in see- 
ing to it that this abscess is opened 
which can otherwise develop into gan- 
grene. The tragic case of Montanari- 
Beiso must be brought before a labor 

Workers' Inquiry 

In the event that the grip of Healy's 
clique on the Socialist Labour League 
is too strong, or Healy's leading col- 
laborators on the International Com- 
mittee too cowardly, to intervene di- 
rectly to oust Healy, we think it ap- 
propriate to force a workers' inquiry 
to expose this fraud who disorients 
and corrupts the Trotskyist movement 
by posing as a revolutionary leader. ■ 


ing the implementation of Tri-Partite 
and preventing the lengthening of sum- 
mer work hours, and the present alli- 
ance of the SSEU and sanitation work- 
ers, raises the spectre of a powerful 
alliance of all City workers. The City 
wants to put an end to these develop- 
ments and potential developments noir. 

Thus for two years the City has 
never ceased to harrass the SSEU with 
provocations and contract violations — 
constantly testing, probing for weak- 
nesses, trying to wear down and de- 
moralize. The first major try for an 
overall solution was the City's attempt 
to impose the so-called "Tri-Partite" 
agreement, a scheme which would have 
eliminated the right of workers to rep- 
resentation by organizations of their 
own choosing, outlawed strikes and 
made third-party arbitration manda- 
tory by law. Halted in this by a mas- 
sive demonstration at City Hall by the 
eleven-union alliance, the City tried to 
lengthen summer hours, finally pulling 
back when the SSEU membership took 
a positive strike vote. Next the City 
attempted to demoralize welfare staff 
by letting caseloads rise precipitously. 
By physically removing excess cases 
from work areas and refusing to work 
on them, caseworkers forced the City 
to abide by contractual limits on work- 
load and hire hundreds of new work- 
ers to handle the excess. 

Role of Supervisors 
Then in November an ominous thing 
happened. The City won its first major 
victory against the SSEU, over the 
election of a bargaining agent by wel- 
fare supervisors. Welfare staff is pres- 
ently divided between two unions: the 
SSEU, repi-esenting caseworkers and 
related titles, and Local 371 of Ameri- 
can Federation of State, County and 
Municipal Employees — a virtual pup- 
pet of the City — representing supervis- 
ers and clerks. In the event of a strike 
by casewoi'kers, the supervisors are of 
key importance. Promoted from the 
ranks of the most experienced case- 
workers, supervisors would be able to 
handle emergencies arising during a 
caseworker strike. In preparation for 
the present negotiations the SSEU had 
been attempting for more than a year 
to win bargaining rights for the super- 
visors, who have never had an oppor- 
tunity to select a bargaining agent. In 
fact, the majority of organized super- 
visors are members of SSEU, not Lo- 
cal 371, and the majority of all super- 
visors have twice signed petitions de- 
manding that a bargaining election be 
held. The City, determined to keep 
welfare staff divided until after its 
test of strength with the SSEU dur- 
ing bargaining, denied elections both 
times on the most dubious of techni- 
calities. The union, rather than organ- 
izing an all-out staff mobilization over 
this absolutely crucial issue, which di- 
rectly involves its ability to carry 

through an effective strike and win 
gains for staff, instead substituted a 
militant, but token, action by a hand- 
ful of activists — a week-long "Live In" 
at the Department of Labor. This ac- 
tion, while no doubt embarrassing to 
the City, in no way compelled it to re- 
verse a tactic fundamental to its pro- 
jected "Destroy SSEU" strategy. Thus, 
while the SSEU now goes to court on 
the matter, staff remains divided dur- 
ing negotiations, and Local 371 im- 
plicitly encourages its members to scab 
in the event of an SSEU strike. 

worksrs' demonstration this Jan. 

The period of bargaining, when the 
working conditions and living stand- 
ards of workers over the next years are 
being decided, is always a crucial one. 
This is particularly true in the present 
case where the survival of the union 
and the incentive for militant union- 
ism among other sections of govern- 
ment workers is at stake. It is the 
prime duty of a leadership to lead. 
This involves analyzing the objective 
conditions and past period to determ- 
ine what level of struggle will be ne- 
cessary and educating and organizing 
the rank and file to carry out this 
struggle. Having made its analysis and 
projected the necessary policy, the 
leadership must proceed with a deter- 
mination and will to win. 

Replace Mage 
The conduct of the Mage leadership 
during the present bargaining (vir- 
tually ensuring that, if gains are to 
be won, a long, difficult strike will be 
necessary) ; its indecisive foot-dragging 
over the past year; its isolation from 
staff; its lack of confidence in the 
ability of workers to recognize and 
fight for their own interests; its pref- 
erence, rather than relying on the 
strength of staff, for behind-the-scenes 
deals with the City; its leap into cap- 
italist politics, despite the fact that 
most of the officers "know bettei-" — all 
militate for the removal of the Mage 
leadership and its replacement by a 

leadership able, and willing, to recog- 
nize and fight for the real interests of 

The City wants to destroy the SSEU. 
Only evidence that the City faces a 
serious, determined fight will compel 
it to "offer" a good contract. Time and 
again the City has shown that it re- 
sponds only to force, while on the other 
hand every signal of weakness has 
evoked a provocation or insult. Un- 
warranted offers to extend negotiations 
do not "give time for better strike or- 
ganization" but demoralize the rank 
and file and encourage the City to come 
forth with such insults as its so-called 
"Proposed Agreement." This docu- 
ment, put forward as the City's basis 
for negotiation, proposed to lengthen 
summer hours, continue unpaid over- 
time, forbid strikes and work actions, 
return to pre-contract grievance and 
transfer policy and remove all limita- 
tion on caseload. ("The Employer shall 
establish appropriate workloads for 
employees covered by this agreement. 
Such workloads shall not be physically 
intolerable or unduly burdensome and 
shall not require an expenditure of 
energy or effort which is unreasonable 
under the circumstances.") It is those 
signs of unwillingness to struggle 
which have also encouraged the City to 
project its next union-busting step — a 
plan to "reorganize" the Welfare De- 
partment by replacing unionized case- 
workers with non-union "case-aides" — 
clients hired at poverty-level wages. 

Criminal Split 

Unfortunately, just at this crucial 
period when real leadership is so des- 
perately needed, the militant left-wing 
of the union has suffered a criminal 
split. The membership has shown that 
whenever it has been presented with a 
clear picture of the City's intentions 
and actions, it has responded militant- 
ly; thus, for example, in response to 
the City's "Proposed Agreement" and 
walkout, 1,500 workers left their cen- 
ters to demonstrate their anger at Cen- 
tral Office. A strong and united mili- 
tant voice, intervening to show clearly 
the intentions of the City and project 
a strategy to win could rally the mem- 
bership and lead it forward to real 
gains — shorter working hours, lower 
caseloads, a really adequate salary 
raise, and cost of living "escalators" 
for both welfare staff and welfare 
clients. The formation of a second left 
caucus at this time (the "Rank and 
File" Committee) — a step applauded 
in the pages of the ACFI Bulletin {I) 
— to compete with the existing Mili- 
tant Caucus weakens and discredits the 
militants and plays into the hands of 
the present leadership — and the City. 
Spartacist calls for the principled 
unity of all left-wing forces in the 
SSEU in order to lead an effective op- 
position to the sell-out policies of Mage 
et al. U 



Posadas in the MR-13 

"The tragic defeats suffered by the 
world proletariat over a long period 
of years doomed the official organiza- 
tions to yet greater conser\'atism and 
simultaneously sent disillusioned petty- 
bourgeois 'revolutionists' in pursuit of 
'new ways.' As always during epochs 
of reaction and decay, quacks and 
charlatans appear on all sides, desirous 
of revising the whole course of revolu- 
tionary thought. Instead of learning 
from the past, they 'reject' it. Some 
discover the inconsistency of Marxism, 
others announce the downfall of Bol- 
shevism. There are those who put re- 
sponsibility upon revolutionary doc- 
trine for the mistakes and crimes of 
those who betrayed it; others who curse 
the medicine because it does not guar- 
antee an instantaneous and miraculous 
cure. The more daring promise to dis- 
cover a panacea and, in anticipation, 
recommend the halting of the class 
struggle. . . . The majority of these 
apostles have succeeded in becoming 
themselves moral invalids before ar- 
riving on the field of battle. Thus, un- 
der the aspect of 'new ways,' old reci- 
pes, long since buried in the archives 
of pre-Marxian socialism, are offered 
to the proletariat." 

This was written in 1938, in the 
"Transitional Program" of the Fourth 
International, the Marxist-Leninist In- 
ternational founded by Leon Trotsky. 

Latin American Bureau 

Twenty-eight years have passed 
since, a new generation formed, and 
the Latin American Bureau of Juan 
Posadas, who calls himself a Trotsky- 
ist, has embodied the preceding de- 
scription. Posadas' Latin American Bu- 
reau broke away from the Pabloite 
United Secretariat in 1962, over un- 
revealed political differences. The Bu- 
reau now calls itself the "Fourth In- 

Posadas' International tacitly capit- 
ulates to the petty-bourgeoisie's denial 
of revolutionary proletarian struggle. 
Rather than provide leadership to the 
proletariat, it serves as a consultant to 
guerrilla idols like Yon Sosa in the 
Guatemalan Movimiento Rcvolucionario 
13 de Noviembre (MR-13). The role of 
the International in the MR-13 gives 
undeniable proof that Posadas and his 
followers abandoned the working class 
of Guatemala — the urban proletai-iat 
and banana plantation workers — for a 
temporary niche in the higher echelons 
of the MR-13. This action, besides fail- 
ing to develop revolutionary conscious- 
ness in the Guatemalan workers and 
dismissing that proletariat's need for a 
party, isolated Posadas' Bureau, mak- 

ing it little more than a sterile sect 
with populist tendencies. 

But the actions of Posadas' Interna- 
tional cannot be viewed as isolated 
events. They were formed by and grew 
out of post-war social relations and 
revolutionary shifts. The proletariat 
could not struggle for state power in 
the industrialized countries due to the 
Stalinist Popular Front and subsequent 
CP betrayals; in underdeveloped coun- 
tries and in East Europe, the Russian 
bureaucracy installed or allowed the 
creation of deformed workers states to 
act as buffer areas protecting the So- 
viet Union. To a great degree, the ap- 
parent "inactivity" of the world pro- 
letariat caused many elements in the 
Trotskyist movement to capitulate to 
"Third World" opportunism, denying 
the tasks and role of the party of the 
proletariat, whether in the industrial- 
ized countries or in the areas domin- 
ated by imperialism. 

This capitulation to petty-bourgeois 
opportunism in the Trotskyist move- 
ment was reflected in Pabloism in the 
early fifties. Pabloism almost destroy- 
ed, through its unprincipled revision- 
ism, the Trotskyist movement; its main 
attack centered on the Marxist con- 
ception that the only class able to 
finally destroy capitalist property re- 
lations on a world basis is the prole- 
tariat. Posadas' International is, in 
respect to this and other fundamental 
questions, a remnant of the Pabloite 
model. Pabloism denied the need for a 
proletarian party, claiming "no time 
for it" because the "World Revolution" 
was "at hand" and because the "radi- 
calized" petty-bourgeoisie of the Third 
World would view a Trotskyist party 
with suspicion and hostility. Unprin- 
cipled coalitions with Bonapartists and 
other petty-bourgeois opportunists 
obliged the Pabloites, as a token of 
"good will," to liquidate the Trotskyist 
party. Posadas' International holds 
dearly to the idea of "a party" but in 
a purely bureaucratic manner. His po- 
sition on the party is a centrist one: 
Posadas' practice, in Guatemala, for 
example, was openly liquidatioiiist of 
the Trotskyist program. 

Revisionist "New Ways" 

The Pabloites and other revisionists 
never understood that it was Stalinism 
which had castrated the Latin Ameri- 
can proletariat by subjecting it to 
Popular Frontism and the "Good 
Neighbor Policy" of Roosevelt. There- 
fore, the revisionists preferred "new 
ways" instead of preparing a defeated 
proletariat for the struggles of tomor- 

Many factors have influenced Po- 
sadas' variant of Pabloism. The belief 
that the peasantry was revolutionary 
as a class without the leadership of the 
proletariat was confirmed in the eyes 
of the Bureau, and other revisionists, 
by the Cuban Revolution. And Latin 
America, which myth considers "feu- 
dal," was certainly a fertile ground 
for all kinds of opportunist accomoda- 
tions to Bonapartists and petty-bour- 
geois peasant leaders who appeared to 
"compensate" for the "inactivity" of 
the Latin American proletariat. 

This conception — the "feudal" or 
"semi-feudal" character of Latin Amer- 
ican society — is a blind denial of the 
capitalist economic and social develop- 
ment in the great majority of Latin 
American nations. This capitalist de- 
velopment, which in Latin America re- 
sults in permanent underdevelopment, 
has existed since the Spanish and Por- 
tuguese began the exploitation of the 
continent. The whole economic struc- 
ture of Latin America is geared to- 
wards ruthless exploitation by impe- 
rialism, but in a capitalist, not a feu- 
dal, mode. The peasantry in Latin 
America, though oppressed brutally by 
capitalism, is outside the market econ- 
omy as a class. Thus, this imperialist, 
capitalist exploitation has created def- 
inite relationships of classes in Latin 
America, where the peasantry, regard- 
less of its numbers, does not play any 
essential role. The problems of Latin 
American society can be solved only 
through a ruthless and defined con- 
frontation of imperialism and its na- 
tional lackeys by the young Latin 
American proletariat and its allies. 

The Rationale 

The actions of Posadas' Internation- 
al must be understood as the resultant 
of post-war revisionism. Posadas' ac- 
ceptance of the inevitability of nuclear 
war (and socialism with it!) provides 
a rationale for abandoning the prole- 
tarian struggle and the proletarian 
party as a Marxist requisite for it. Po- 
sadas' inability to realize that Latin 
America is not essentially a feudal so- 
ciety forces the Bureau to base its 
revolutionary struggle on the peasantry 
and the "competence" of petty-bour- 
geois demagogues like Peron or mili- 
tary heroes like Yon Sosa. 

Posadas' group inside the MR-13 was 
expelled in April 19'i6 for, according 
to the MR-13, its arrogance and its 
dishonest behavior concerning the or- 
ganization's funds. Posadas' first re- 
fused to acknowledge the expulsions 
and then flatly denied their impor- 
tance (Red Flag, 6 Nov. 1966). Can it 


be possible, then, that members of the 
International will learn anything from 
the fiasco in the MR-13? We do not 
think so, at least not so long as the 
Bureau remains unable to grapple with 
Posadas' theoretical bankruptcy. His 
denial of reality will accelerate the 
Bureau's drive toward an unavoidable 

Latin American Stalinism 
The expulsion of Posadas' section, 
nevertheless, cannot be dismissed pure- 
ly on the organizational grounds pre- 
sented by the MR-13. It is highly prob- 
able that the January 1966 Tricontin- 
ental Conference at Havana had, under 
the direction of the Russian bureauc- 
racy, a defined purpose of politically 
and morally assassinating the MR-13. 
By attacking the MR-13, Castro aided 
the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias 
(FAR) of Luis Turcios, a guerrilla 
group controlled by the Central Com- 
mittee of the Partido Guatemalteco del 
Trabajo (PGT). This Stalinist party, 
as do all Latin American CP's, depends 
on the Kremlin clique for spiritual 

It is necessary to establish differ- 
ences between Guevarism and Fidel- 
ism, two tactical approaches of Stalin- 
ism in Latin America, conditioned by 
particular situations and needs of the 
radicalized petty bourgeoisie reacting 
to proletarian "quiescence." 


Guevarism, personified once by Er- 
nesto Guevara, is a tactical recipe 
which holds that the "peoples' strug- 
gle" of the Cuban Revolution (1957- 
1959) can be applied successfully in 
the majority of Latin American coun- 
tries in order to achieve a result sim- 
ilar to the developments in Cuba after 
1959 — to Marxists, a deformed work- 
ers state. Guevarism is, to a great 
extent, the Maoist model applied to 
Latin America. In practice, it can dis- 
turb, as it certainly has, imperialism's 
Pax Americana. That is why it has 
been met with brutal resistance in 
Peru, where Guevarism provided the 
inspiration for the Movimiento de Iz- 
quierda Revolucionaria (MIR). 

MR-13's intrinsic Guevarism was 
hidden behind the "theoretical" fa?ade 
provided by Posadas' section. The pro- 
gram of Posadas' Bureau has many 
similarities with Guevarism, particu- 
larly with the idea that there can be 
such things as "socialist guerrillas." 
But in reality the Trotskyist prole- 
tarian program cannot be carried for- 
ward by a peasant guerrilla movement, 
so the MR-13 continued to be, essen- 
tially, a Guevarist formation. The slo- 
gan of "workers and peasants govern- 
ment" was falsified in the typical op- 
portunist manner, by the practical ac- 
ceptance of either a "two-class party" 
or a "two-class state." The real face 
of the MR-13 showed up on many oc- 
casions, including the fraternal iden- 

Marco Antonio Yon Sosa 

tification of their movement with the 
Peruvian MIR. (Edicion Extraordin- 
aria MR-13, July 1965.) Though pre- 
senting different stages of develop- 
ment, MIR and MR-13 are prototypes 
of Guevarist guerrilla movements. 


Fidelism, on the other hand, opposes 
a guerrilla movement uncontrolled by 
the Kremlin and its hirelings in Ha- 
vana. It does not embody even the end 
results of the Cuban Revolution, as 
Guevarism does. Such developments, 
though highly improbable now in any 
Latin American nation, might possibly 
unleash tremendous popular forces 
against imperialism, thereby unbalanc- 
ing the peaceful coexistence that the 
Russian bureaucrats worship. Fidelism 
betrays the poor peasants and the 
workers in order to maintain this bal- 

The Cuban missile crisis proved the 
willingness of the Russian clique to 
sacrifice even Cuba as a pawn in order 
to compromise with imperialism, just 
as the Dominican events proved the 
willingness of the Cuban clique to com- 
promise with imperialism (see Spar- 
TACIST No. 7). More Cubas, orbiting 
politically toward Russia, would create 
serious, perhaps unmaintainable, eco- 
nomic drainage on Russian resources. 

The purpose of the Fidelist nation- 
alist movements is not to take power 
from the bourgeoisie, but to establish 
a "gradual" pressure on "progressive" 
elements of a given bourgeois govern- 
ment. In Guatemala, the FAR has said 
that it wants to exact good behavior 
from "progressives" at the same time 
that it wages an "irreconcilable" strug- 
gle against the "ultra-rightists" of the 
Guatemalan bourgeoisie. The Stalinist 
PGT uses the FAR to "blackmail" the 
bourgeoisie and imperialism. Unfortu- 
nately, this has cost the FAR many 
dead, Turcios perhaps included. A pe- 
culiar Fidelist-inspired front, the Chi- 
lean FRAP, boycotted and helped de- 
feat its own candidate, Allende, in the 

1964 presidential elections, when it be- 
came obvious he might win. The 
Fidelist guerrillas and movements like 
FRAP are varieties of tfie Stalinist 
Popular Front, which was designed to 
defend Russia by betraying the inter- 
national working class. 

The Enemy — Guevarism 
If the "militant" Maoist bureauc- 
racy is the present "embarrassing" 
enemy of the peaceful partner of im- 
perialism, the Russian bureaucracy, 
Guevarism is considered the danger in 
Latin America, where only Fidelism 
can keep it in check. And this is what 
the Tricontinental attempted primarily 
to do. It is not coincidental that in the 
same conference the Chinese bureauc- 
racy was also viciously slandered by 
Castro. Though Guevara himself was 
no longer present (the Cuban bureauc- 
racy, naturally, cannot explain this 
intelligently), Guevarism had to be 
attacked publicly, but not openly. Had 
Castro concentrated the attack solely 
on the MR-13, his hostility toward 
Guevarism would have been too ob- 
vious in Latin America and the farce 
too costly for Castro and his Russian 
mentors. But Posadas' presence in the 
MR-13 provided the alibi needed by 
Castro. Castro could, in cynical im- 
punity, call Guevarism in Guatemala 

The Enemy — Trotskyism 

As a secondary purpose, the Cuban 
and Russian bureaucracies also needed 
to attack the permanent, irreconcilable 
and proletarian enemy of Stalinism: 
Trotskyism. The Russian clique needed 
to attack because Trotskyism repre- 
sents its ever-present enemy, remind- 
ing them of the bureaucracy's Thermi- 
dorian and criminal usurpation in the 
face of the Russian proletariat. The 
Cuban hirelings wanted to gnaw at 
Trotskyism because many Trotskyist 
organizations had relentlessly been 
asking about Ernesto Guevara and 
many of them were hinting that the 
Cuban bureaucrats had purged him 
physically after his 1965 African tour, 
during which he had openly advocated 
a more militant line. 

The Tricontinental was used to elim- 
inate two opposition programs: the 
first, Guevarism, an immediate petty- 
bourgeois deviation; the second, the 
Marxist-Leninist program which Stal- 
inists always try to isolate from any 
revolutionary, that of Trotskyism. 
(Continued on Page 14) 

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"Centrism and the Fourth International" by Leon Trotsky 
was first published in The Militant of 17 March 1934. Un- 
fortunately, it has been almost forgotten since its initial 
appearance, especially since another article by Trotsky with 
the same title, dated 10 March 1939, was published in the 
New International of May 1939. 

The increasing degeneration of the Comintern culminat- 
ing in Hitler's victory and the emergence of Stalinism as 
an overtly counterrevolutionary formation during the Pop- 
ular Front period marked a new stage in the political 
struggle, characterized by the crisis of revolutionary lead- 
ership. In this context, the overriding necessity for the 
building of an international party of socialist revolution 
led Trotsky to launch the struggle for the Fourth Inter- 
national, founded in 1938 on the basis of the Transitional 
Program. Trotsky viewed the task of the period as a re- 
alignment from existing centrist forces through a process 
of political polarization, resulting from untiring polemics 
with centrists, propagandizing the Trotskyist program, in- 
tervention in the class struggle and the tactic of the united 

This article was one of Trotsky's first attempts to ana- 
lyze the dominant characteristics of centrism — the inability 
to draw "practical conclusions from revolutionary requi- 
sites." In the article he outlines a series of tactics toward 
theoretical clarification leading to the formation of the 
world party of socialist revolution. 

The emergence of Pabloite revisionism in the post-war 
period and the resulting organizational disintegration of the 
Fourth International poses for us today the crucial task of 
rebuilding the international vanguard party through the 
winning of working-class militants to the program of revo- 
lutionary Marxism and the promotion of splits and fusions 
within the existing radical movement. The bankruptcy of 
classic reformism and the exposure of the betrayals of the 
social democracies and the Stalinist parties creates a situ- 
ation in which the greatest obstacle to the building of a 
Leninist party is centrism, which becomes a pole of attrac- 
tion for militants who have rejected reformism and seek a 
revolutionary transformation of society. These centrist 
formations evidence the classic characteristics of centrism 
as defined by Trotsky. The SVVP repeats the old opportunist 
revisions of Marxism and presents them as new theoretical 
innovations in order to justify its uncritical support of Black 
Nationalism, bourgeois pacifism and the Cuban bureaucracy, 
while ACFI, Gerry Healy's American "section," plods along 
its zig-zag course. 

* :|! * 

As we were going to press, we were gratified to find that 
the comrades of the Irish Workers' Group have just pub- 
lished this article in their mimeographed quarterly journal 
An Solas, No. 15/16, Autumn-Winter 1966. 

1. The events in Austria, coming after the events in 
Germany,' placed a final cross over "classic" reformism. 
Henceforth only the dullest leaders of British and 
American trade-unionism and their French follower, 
Jouhaux, the president of the Second International, 
Vandervelde, and similar political ichthyosauri will 
dare to speak openly of the perspectives of peaceful 
development, democratic reforms, etc. The overwhelm- 
ing majority of reformists consciously take on new 
colors now. Reformism yields to the innumerable shad- 
ings of centrism which now dominate the field of the 
workers' movement in the majority of countries. This 
creates an entirely new, and in a sense unprecedented, 
situation for work in the spirit of revolutionary Marx- 

Realignments in the Ini 

by L. D 

ism (Bolshevism). The New International can develop 
principally at the expense of the now prevailing ten- 
dencies and organizations. At the same time the revolu- 
tionary International cannot form itself otherwise 
than in a consistent struggle against centrism. Under 
these conditions ideological irreconcilability and the 
flexible policy of the united front sei've as two weapons 
for the attainment of one and the same end. 

Characteristics of Centrism 

2. One must understand first of all the most character- 
istic traits of modern centrism. That is not easy: first, 
because centrism due to its organic amorphousness 
yields with difficulty to a positive definition : it is char- 
acterized to a much greater extent by what it lacks 
than by what it embraces ; secondly, never has centrism 
yet played to such an extent as now with all the colors 
of the rainbow, because never yet have the ranks of 
the working class been in such ferment as at the pres- 
ent time. Political ferment, by the very essence of the 
term, means a realignment, a shift between two poles, 
Marxism and reformism; that is, the passing through 
the various stages of centrism. 

3. No matter how difficult a general definition of cen- 
trism, which of necessity always has a "conjunctural" 
character, nevertheless, we can and must bring out 
the outstanding characteristics and peculiarities of the 
centrist groupings originating from the break-down of 
the Second and Third Internationals. 

(a) Theoretically, centrism is amorphous and eclec- 
tic; so far as possible it evades theoretical obligations 
and inclines (in words) to give preference to "revolu- 
tionary practice" over theory, without understanding 
that only Marxian theory can impart revolutionary 
direction to practice. 

Centrist Ideology 

(b) In the sphere of ideology centrism leads a para- 
sitic existence: it repeats against revolutionary Marx- 
ists the old Menshevik arguments (Martov, Axelrod, 
Plechanov) usually without suspecting this; on the 
other hand, its main arguments against the rights it 
borrows from the Marxists, that is first of all from the 
Bolshevik-Leninists, dulling however, the sharp edge 
of criticism, avoiding practical conclusions, thereby 
rendering their criticism meaningless. 

(c) A centrist readily proclaims his hostility to 
reformism; but he does not mention centrism; more- 
over, he considers the very definition of centrism as 
"unclear," "arbiti-ary," etc.; in other words centrism 
does not like to be called by its name. 

(d) A centrist, always uncertain of his position and 
his methods, views with hatred the revolutionary prin- 
ciple: to state what is; he is inclined to substitute for 
a principled policy personal maneuvering and petty 
organizational diplomacy. 

(e) A centrist always remains in spiritual depend- 



ational Labor Movement 


ence on rightist groupings, is inclined to cringe before 
those who are more moderate, to remain silent on their 
oppoi'tunist sins and to color their actions before the 

(f) His shilly-shallying the centrist fi'equently cov- 
ers up by reference to the danger of "sectarianism," 
by which he understands not abstract-propagandist 
passivity (of the Bordigist type) but an active concern 
for purity of principles, clarity of position, political 
consistency, organizational completeness. 

TROTSKY at Prinkipo in 1931. 

(g) A centrist occupies a position between an oppor- 
tunist and a Marxist somewhat analogous to that which 
a petty bourgeois occupies between a capitalist and a 
proletarian: he kowtows before the first and has con- 
tempt for the second. 

On the International Arena 

'(h) On the international arena the centrist distin- 
guishes himself if not by blindness then by shortsight- 
edness; he does not understand that in the present 
epoch a national revolutionary party can be built only 
as part of an international party; in the choice of his 
international allies the centrist is even less discriminat- 
ing than in his own country. 

(i) A centrist sees in the policy of the Comintern 

only "ultra-Left" deviations, adventurism, putchism, 
ignoring completely the right-opportunist zig-zags 
(Kuo Min Tang, Anglo-Russian Committee, pacifist 
foreign policy, anti-Fascist bloc, etc.) 2 

(j) A centrist swears readily by the policy of the 
united front, emptying it of its revolutionary content 
and transforming it from a tactical method into a su- 
preme principle. 

(k) A centrist readily resorts to pathetic moralizing 
to cover up his ideological emptiness; he does not un- 
derstand that revolutionary morality can be formed 
only on the basis of revolutionary doctrine and revolu- 
tionary policy. 

Words and Deeds 

3. Under the pressure of circumstances the eclectic- 
centrist may accept even the most extreme conclusions 
only to retreat from them afterwards in practice. Hav- 
ing accepted the dictatorship of the proletariat he will 
leave a wide margin for opportunist interpretations; 
having proclaimed the necessity of a Fourth Interna- 
tional he will work for the building of a Two-and-a-half^ 
International, etc. 

4. The most malignant example of centrism is, if you 
wish, the German group "Begin Anew" (Neu Begin- 
nen)."* Superficially repeating the Marxian criticism 
of reformism, it comes to the conclusion that all the 
misfortunes of the proletariat follow from splits and 
that salvation lies in the safeguarding of the unity of 
the social-democratic parties. These gentlemen place 
the organizational discipline of Wels and Co. higher 
than the historic interests of the proletariat. And since 
Wels & Co. subordinate the party to the discipline of 
the bourgeoisie, the group "Begin Anew," cloaked by 
left criticism stolen from the Marxists, represents in 
reality a harmful agency of the bourgeois order, even 
though an agency of second degree. 

The London Bureau 

5. The so-called London (now Amsterdam) Bureau^ 
represents an attempt at creating an international focal 
point for centrist eclecticism, under the banner of 
which the right and the left opportunist groupings, 
which dare not choose finally a direction and a banner, 
try to unite. In this as in other cases the centrists 
try to direct the movement obliquely along a diagonal 
course. The elements composing the bloc pull in oppo- 
site directions; the N.A.P. (Norwegian Workers 
Party) cautiously moves towards the Second Interna- 
tional; the I.L.P. (Independent Labour Party) — partly 
toward the Third, partly toward the Fourth ; the S.A.P. 
(Socialist Workers Party of Germany) and the O.S.P. 
(Independent Socialist Party of Holland) — veering and 
vacillating towards the Fourth. Exploiting and preserv- 
ing the ideological amorphousness of all its participants 
and trying to compete in the work for the creation of 
a new International, the bloc of the "London Bureau" 
plays a reactionary role. The failure of this grouping 
is absolutely inevitable. 

Bureaucratic Centrism 

6. The defining of the policy of the Comintern as that 
of bureaucratic centrism retains its full force now 

(Continued Next Page) 

10 — 



too. As a matter of fact, only centrism is capable of 
constant leaps from opportunistic betrayals to ultra- 
Left adventurism; only the powerful Soviet bureauc- 
racy could for ten years assure a stable base for the 
ruinous policy of zig-zags. 

Bureaucratic centrism, in distinction from centrist 
groupings which crystallized out of the social democ- 
racy, is the product of the degeneration of Bolshevism; 
it retains — in caricature form — some of its traits, 
still leads a considerable number of revolutionary work- 
ers, disposes of extraordinary material and technical 
means, but by its political influence is now the crassest, 
most disorganizing and harmful variety of centrism. 
The political break-down of the Comintern, clear to the 
whole world, signifies of necessity the further decom- 
position of bureaucratic centrism. In this sphere our 
task is to save the best elements for the cause of the 
proletarian revolution. Side by side with tireless prin- 
cipled criticism, our main weapon for influencing the 
workers still remaining under the banner of the Com- 
intern is the further penetration of our ideas and 
methods into those wide masses, who stand now in 
overwhelming majority outside the influence of the 

Adaption to Reformist Maneuvers 

7. Precisely now, when reformism is forced to re- 
nounce itself, transforming or dyeing itself into cen- 
trism, some groupings of Left centrism, on the con- 
trary, stop short in their development and even move 
backwards. It seems to them that the reformists have 
already grasped almost everything, that it is only 
necessary not to play with exorbitant demands, criti- 
cism, extreme phraseology, and that then with one 
blow one can create a mass "revolutionary" party. 

In reality, reformism, forced by events to disavow 
itself, having no clear program, no revolutionary tac- 
tics, is capable only of lulling the advanced workers to 
sleep by inculcating in them the idea that the revolu- 
tionary regeneration of their party is already achieved. 

New Forms of Struggle 

8. For a revolutionary Marxist the struggle against 
reformism is now almost fully replaced by the struggle 
against centrism. The mere bare counter-posing of legal 
struggle to illegal, of peaceful means to violence, of 
democracy to dictatorship now goes beside the mark 
in the majority of cases because the frightened reform- 
ist, disavowing himself, is ready to accept the most 
"revolutionary" formulas if only they do not obligate 
him today to a decisive break with his own irresolute- 
ness, indecision and expectant waiting. The struggle 
with hidden or masked opportunists must therefore be 
transferred chiefly to the sphere of practical conclu- 
sions from revolutionary requisites. 

Before seriously accepting centrist talk of the "dic- 
tatorship of the proletariat" we must demand a serious 
defense against Fascism, a complete break with the 
bourgeoisie, a systematic building of a workers' militia, 
its training in militant spirit, the creation of inter- 
party defense centers, anti-Fascist staffs, the banish- 
ment from their ranks of parliamentary, trade-union- 
ist and other traitors, bourgeois lackeys, careerists, 
too. Precisely on this plane the main fights against 

centrism must now be fought. ,To carry on this strug- 
gle with success it is necessary to have free hands, 
that is, not only to retain full organizational inde- 
pendence, but also critical intransigence with regard 
to the most "left" offshoots of centrism. 

Events Force Realignments 

9. Bolshevik-Leninists in all countries must realize 
clearly the peculiarities of the new stage in the strug- 
gle for the Fourth International. The events in Austria 
and France'' give a powerful impetus to the realign- 
ment of the forces of the proletariat in the revolu- 
tionary direction. But precisely this universal supplant- 
ing of open reformism by centrism develops a power- 
ful attractive force with regard to left centrist group- 
ings (S.A.P., O.S.P.) which only yesterday were about 
to unite with the Bolshevik-Leninists. This dialectic 
process may produce the impression on the surface that 
the Marxian wing is again "isolated" from the masses. 
A flagrant delusion! The veerings of centrism to the 
right and to the Left follow from its very nature. 
There will yet be tens and hundreds of such episodes 
on our road. It would be the most wretched faint- 
heartedness to fear to go forward just because the 
road is strevm with obstacles or because not all the 
fellow travelers will arrive at the very end. 

The Fourth International 

Whether the new opportunist vacillations of our 
centrist allies will prove conjunctural or final (in real- 
ity they will be of both kinds), the general conditions 
for the formation of the Fourth International on the 
basis of genuine Bolshevism become more and more 
favorable. The chase of the "extreme left" centrists 
after the simply lefts, of the lefts after the moderates, 
of the moderates after the rights, like the chase of a 
man after his own shadow, cannot create any stable 
mass organization: the miserable experience of the 
German Independent Party (U.S.P.)7 retains now also 
its full force. Under the pressure of events, with the 
aid of our criticism and our slogans, the advanced 
workers will step over the vacillations of the most 
left centrist leaders, and, if it should become neces- 
sary, also over these very leaders. On the road to a 
new International the proletarian vanguard will find 
no other answers than those which have been elabor- 
ated and are being elaborated by the Bolshevik-Lenin- 
ists on the basis of international experience during 
ten years of uninterrupted theoretical and practical 

Conditions for Success 

10. During the past year our political influence has 
greatly grown in a number of countries. We will be 
able to develop and broaden these successes in a com- 
paratively short time under the following conditions: 

(a) Not to outsmart the historic process, not. to play 
hide and seek but to state what is; 

(b) to give ourselves a theoretic accounting of the 
changes in the general situation which in the present 
epoch frequently take on the nature of sharp turns; 

(c) to heed carefully the mood of the masses, with- 
out prejudices, without illusions, without self-decep- 
tion in order on the basis of a correct estimate of the 
relationship of forces within the proletariat, to avoid 
opportunism as well as adventurism and to lead the 
masses forward, not to throw them back; 

(d) every day, every hour to answer clearly to our- 


Report from Germany 


The two electoral successes of the National Demo- 
cratic Party (NDP) in the autumn 1966 state elections 
in Hesse and Bavaria have brought the grovi'th of the 
radical right wing in West Germany to world atten- 
tion. At the same time, the rise of the NDP has been 
to the advantage of the ruling Christian Democrats 
(CDU/CSU) who now can comfortably develop their 
own militant nationalism by virtue of the protection 
from the right which the NDP provides. The slogan, 
"healthy nationalism," is today once again at home in 
Germany's ruling pai-ties. The notorious Franz Joseph 
Strauss, thrown out of office in 1962 in the wake of 
demonstrations protesting his role in the Spiegel af- 
fair, and now Minister of Finance, characterized the 
NDP's electoral success as "the answer to the contempt 
and ridicule of the German Federal Republic; an an- 
swer to all who tried to drag Germany through the 
mud." iSiiddeutsche Zeitung, 21 November 1966.) 

The Developing Crisis 

This radicalization to the right is the result of a de- 
teriorating economic situation and of the consequent 
political crisis of the ruling parties. The expansion of 
the West German economy came to an abrupt end in 
the fall of 1966. Chancellor Ludwig Erhard, the "Father 
of the Economic Wonder" and of the expansionist phase 
of West German capitalism, was immediately dumped 
back into the Bavarian forests whence he came. The 
government crisis grew over the question of raising 
taxes to the exclusive disadvantage of the consumer. 
The CDU refused to counteract the economic stagna- 
tion by imposing higher taxes or decreasing military 
contracts, as this would narrow business profits. The 
economic situation is now characterized by inflation- 
ary price-rises, higher taxes and a decrease in con- 

by Bernt Bahr 

tracts and production. Labor cutbacks, unemploy- 
ment and sharper wage struggles are the perspectives 
for the working class. Ten thousand workers have al- 
ready been laid off in the coal and construction indus- 
tries, and the automobile industry, particularly the 
Volkswagen concern, has begun to operate on reduced 
work-time. Thousands of foreign workers are leaving 
Germany. In the summer of 1966, there were seven job 
openings for every unemployed worker; by December, 
this figui'e fell to one-and-a-half job openings. 

The Grand Coalition 

More important than the neo-Nazis for the mobiliza- 
tion of reactionary forces is the so-called "Grand Co- 
alition" between the Christian Democrats and the 
Social Democrats. Willy Brandt, once an exile from 
Hitler Germany in Norway and now Foreign Minister, 
shakes the hand of his new boss. Chancellor Kiesinger, 
who was a Nazi from 1933 to 1945. Sitting together 
today in Bonn are right-wing trade unionists such as 
Leber, now Minister of Transport, and ex-Stalinists 
such as Herbert Wehner, to whom the militantly anti- 
communist and revanchist Ministry of All-German 
Affairs has been given as "verification" of his loyalty. 

In reality, the government, characterized as a tran- 
sitional coalition, has two tasks. The first is to pass 
new electoral laws to facilitate the continuation of the 
two large parties and hinder the development of a new 
working-class party. The second is to prepare a transi- 
tion to dictatorship by doing away with bourgeois de- 
mocracy. Ex-Chancellor Erhard has already cynically 
projected the coming totalitarian society in his concept 
of the "formed" — actually uniformed — society. 

(Continued on Page 12) 


selves what our next practical step must be, tirelessly 
to prepare this step and on the basis of living expe- 
rience explain to the workers the principled difference 
of Bolshevism from all other parties and currents ; 

The Basic Historical Task 

(e) not to confuse tactical tasks of a united front 
with the basic historic task: the creation of new 
parties and a new International; 

(f ) not to neglect even the weakest ally, for the sake 
of practical action ; 

(g) to watch critically the most "left" ally as a 
possible adversary; 

(h) to treat with the greatest attention those group- 
ings which actually gravitate to us; patiently and care- 
fully to listen to their criticisms, doubts and vacilla- 
tions; to help them develop toward Marxism; not be 
frightened by their caprices, threats, ultimatums (cen- 
trists are always capricious and touchy) ; not to make 

any concessions to them in principle; 

(i) and once more: not to fear to state what is. ■ 
—23 February 1934 


1. "Events in Austria" refers to tlie victory of clerical fascism under Dollfus, 
a serious defeat for the Austrian working class and a revelation of the failure 
of even the radical Austrian Social Democrats. 

2. The Kuomintang was Chiang Kai-shek's nationalist party, organizationally 
modelled after the Communist Party and supported by the Comintern until 
Chiang's bloody suppression of the workers in Shanghai in 1927. 

The Anglo-Russian Committee was comprised of Soviet trade union ofTicialt 
and English left trade union leaders; its signal achievement was to give covar 
to the defeat of the English General Strike of 1926. 

3. The Two-and-a-half International was an attempt to revive the old Second 
International, cleansed of its social patriotism, and included the Independent 
Socialist Party of Germany, a majority of the French Socialist Party, the Rus- 
sian Mensheviks, the British Independent Labour Party and similar groups. 

4. Wels, a notorious right-wing Social Democrat, climaxed his career as a 
"Socialist" pledging his loyalty to Hitler in the Reichstag. 

5. The London Bureau, founded in 1932, had as its most prominent party the 
ILP of Britain. It functioned through the 1930's as a clearing house for 

6. The "events in France" included the demonstration on 6 February 1934 by 
200,000 reactionaries armed with raiors and revolvers against the Daladier gov- 
ernment, which fell the following day. Six days later, four million French 
workers came out in a strike. 

7. The Independent Socialist Party (USPD), after the 1920 split in which two- 
thirds of the party fused with the German Communist Party, continued to 
exist as an independent organization, adhering to the Two-and-a-half Inter, 
national until 1922 when it went back to the Social Democracy. 

12 — 



The new government is now con- 
cerned with pushing through no less 
than eighty revisions in the Constitu- 
tion in order to make possible the legis- 
lation of the so-called "Emergency- 
Laws" (Suddeutsche Zeitung^ 5 Decem- 
ber) which would be the "legal" basis 
for the dictatorship. For the protection 
of capitalism a series of anti-strike 
and anti-union laws are in preparation, 
along with the prohibition of political 
opposition, the dissolution of parlia- 
mentary democracy, total militarization 
and political coordination of public life. 
The bourgeoisie's fear of a general 
strike is the decisive element of the 
entire series of laws proposed for legis- 
lation. A major purpose of the Grand 
Coalition is to prevent a broad opposi- 
tion to the Emergency Laws as well as 
to piovide the two-thirds majority in 
Parliament necessary for constitution- 
al revision. A creeping coup d'etat has 
finally become the common goal of the 
CDU and the SPD. The NDP is being 
formally excluded for t|ie moment, but 
nationalism is once again being mobil- 
ized by the bourgeoisie as an ideologi- 
cal weapon to be used in the coming 
struggles against the proletariat. 

The Opposition 

Resistance to the threat of dissolu- 
tion of bourgeois democracy is weak 
and badly organized. Since the prohibi- 
tion of the Communist Paity of Ger- 
many (KPD) in 195G, the government 
has been able to move against any new 
organization on the left as being "sus- 
pected of communist membership"; the 
limitless extension of anti-communist 
laws now planned will make the situa- 
tion of the opposition even worse. Ad- 
ed to this is the twenty-year-long prop- 
aganda against the East German state 
as well as the preservation of revan- 
chist lust for the re-conquest of "the 
German East." 

Since the SPD gave up calling itself 
a workers' party in the Godeslieig Pro- 
gram of 195f) and sought to establish 
itself as a "party of the entire people" 
by discarding all goals of socialization, 
it has gone its reactionary way with 
determination. Today, in the Grand 
Coalition, it is ready to make those 
laws for the bourgeoisie which have 
the one aim of completely disarming 
the workeis. 

A more important but still very 
weak force of resistance to the Emerg- 
ency Laws is the German Federation 
of "Trade Unions (DGB). Fear of these 
laws has caused the DGB to openly 
declare itself against them. The feder- 
ation's close connection with the SPD 
in personnel and in ideology, however, 
prevents it from allowing any mobili- 
zation of the workers through mass 
demonstrations and protest strikes. In- 
stead, it merely supports the protest 

demonstrations of university profes- 

The East German government and 
its illegal arm in West Germany, the 
KPD, support those elements in the 
SPD, trade unions and pacifist organi- 
zations who demand as the most press- 
ing task adherence to the 1949 West 
German constitution, which the KPD 
nonetheless had rejected at the time. 
The determination of the East German 
government to support a liberal-demo- 
cratic pacifist program is a major ob- 
stacle to the development of a genuine 
socialist party of class struggle. Thus 
it has repeatedly declared itself willing 
to renounce any form of oppositional 
activity in West Germany and to guar- 
antee the existence of the bourgeois 
state in the West in return for a 
"peaceful and friendly" government in 
the Federal Republic. Only the militant 
aggressiveness of the West German 
bourgeoisie with its demands for un- 
conditional capitulation of the East 
German bureaucracy has prevented 
this agreement until now. 

Student Resistance 

In the absence of a revolutionary or- 
ganization of the working class, the 
most active oppositional elements today 
are certain student organizations. Their 
political analysis connects the incipi- 
ent economic crisis, neo-fascism and 
the repressive laws planned by the 
bourgeoisie to be enacted by the Grand 
Coalition, with the world-wide aggres- 
sion of U.S. imperialism and its helper. 
West Germany. As in the U.S.A., where 
the opposition against the war in Viet- 
nain and the liberation struggle of the 
Negroes aie seen more and more as 
parts of the same struggle, in Germany 
too, the struggle against the threat of 
dictatorship internally and against 
West Germany's support of the war in 
Vietnam are seen as parts of the same 

The isolation of these student organ- 
izations from the working class, how- 
ever, leads to major ideological defi- 
ciencies similar to those of the New 
Left in the U.S.A.: a thoroughly class- 
less approach, the myth about new 
methods of struggle and new bases of 
revolt such as those of students, intel- 
lectuals or Asian and Latin American 
peasants and guerrillas, with whom the 
complacency of the German woi-kers is 

The Socialist League of German Stu- 
dents (SDS), the strongest and most 
militant of these organizations, defines 
its dilemma in the following way: as a 
student organization which does not 
recruit workers, the SDS can only be 
as strong as its impact in the univer- 
sities. In the absence of a revolution- 
ary workers' party, however, it must 
also take into account the tasks of such 
a party without, however, either want- 
ing to or being able to become one it- 
self. Because of its weaknesses, the 

SDS couples opportunism in domestic 
issues with an uncritical awe of all 
that looks revolutionary. For instance, 
at the October 1966 Conference on "De- 
mocracy in crisis," SDS was ready to 
make every concession to the represen- 
tatives of the DGB, supporting their 
liberal-democratic aims and refusing; 
to put forward any socialist alterna- 
tives. On the other hand, at the Na- 
tional Congress of SDS delegates held 
earlier in 1966, the Chinese "cul- 
tural revolution" was greeted in the 
manner of Peking Review as "a fur- 
ther step on the path to the communist 

With the abdication of leadership of 
the traditional workers' oi'ganizations, 
the increasing unrest among workers 
and students has been accompanied by 
the casting about for "new" forms of 
struggle. The repeated student disturb- 
ances in Berlin led to mass arrests but 
also to calls for student strikes and 
for founding an "anti-university." Also 
precipitated was the declamatory proc- 
lamation of a "Commune" of anarchist 
students. But the mobilization of the 
students' militancy and consciousness 
towards the crucial task of a resurg- 
ence of revolutionary struggle in the 
German working class is hardly 
broached theoretically, and has never 
been attempted practically. Instead, the 
inclination is rather to try to find the 
student movement a comfortable alibi ; 
by calling the university a "factory" 
and the students "workers" one can 
feel good in the self-proclaimed role of 
a "proletarian" without having to se- 
riously commit oneself to struggle. 

The Tasks Ahead 
As long as the students avoid a firm 
committment to the working class, their 
aims must be self-contradictory, their 
activity inadequate and their strength 
only feeble. Only in unity with the 
working class can the resistance to the 
course of the Grand Coalition gain 

As a part of the current crisis, the 
West German bourgeoisie has started a 
wide-ranging offensive for the destruc- 
tion of those few rights which the 
working class was able to win for it- 
self in spite of the Allied military oc- 
cupation after the Second World War. 
It is not the NDP which is the main 
enemy today but rather those who are 
preparing for a new dictatorship 
through the Grand Coalition; the 
struggle against the NDP must be linked 
with the struggle against fascist ten- 
dencies in the government parties; most 
decisive however is the preparation of 
the working class itself for the de- 
fense and extension of its own rights. 
The exposure of the SPD to the Ger- 
man workers, particularly by forcing 
it to take sole power, and the related 
formation of a Marxist vanguard party 
still remain the main tasks for German 
revolutionaries. ■ Trans, by M. D. 


— 13 

. . . 1967 

(Continued from Page 1) 
Civilian Review Board, a clear expression of the near- 
fascist attitude of a white population in which bour- 
geois-aspiring white-collar workers and the privileged 
working class of Queens are major factors. However, 
even in Georgia the axe-handle racist candidate was 
unable to secure a majority of the popular vote. Hard- 
line segregationists carried the day in Alabama, but 
lost out in the border states of Arkansas and Maryland. 
In Deai'born, Michigan, 47 per cent of the voters ap- 
proved a ballot proposition opposing the Vietnam war, 
although anti-war forces might well consider the mixed 
motives that may have been present there before 
cheering too loudly. In Illinois the defeat of an all-out 
Johnson man and old-time New Dealer indicates little 
except that it is a long time since the thirties. Massa- 
chusetts sent a Black Republican to the Senate; al- 
though no victory for the Black people of Roxbury and 
the South End, this is scarcely the act of an electorate 
in the grip of an hysterical anti-Negro spirit. 

The chief responsibility for the triumph of the 
Republicans in California must be laid at the door of 
Pat Brown and the liberal Democrats. Even judged 
within their own frame of reference, their leadership 
has been incredibly bad, or non-existent. Supporting 
legalistic and token civil-rights measures as long as it 
seemed profitable to do so, they interpreted the victory 
of the anti-open-housing Proposition 14 in 1964 as a 
call for a retreat rather than an offensive against ris- 
ing racism. Brown's reaction to the Watts rebellion 
was indistinguishable from that of the Republicans, 
and he even appointed an investigating committee un- 
der super-spy McCone, the same man Reagan now wants 
to investigate the Berkeley campus. When, in the middle 
of the campaign, the Hunters Point disturbances broke 
out, so little was the difference between the two can- 
didates that both agreed to refrain froin making a 
political issue of it. The irony of it all is that, despite 
these concessions to backlash, Brown remained identi- 
fied in the minds of the white reactionaries with civil- 
rights legislation, and they visited retribution on him. 

Finally, Brown and his supporters were unable to 
grasp even the existence of a sentiment of dissatisfac- 
tion with The Great Society. The theme of a brochure 
mailed out by the ILWU in support of Brown (re- 
member when Harry Bridges was a left-wing hero?) 
carried the headline, "Play It Safe." This was a re- 
current theme in Democratic literature and was sin- 
gularly unresponsive to the mood of the voters. This is, 
of course, not just a tactical error but a constitutional 
inability to see the nature of the problem. 

The Left's Abstentionism 

In this context, the failure of the left to play a 
positive role in the elections becomes even more strik- 
ing. Of the pro-Democratic Communist and Socialist 
Parties, no more need be said. The West Coast Progres- 
sive Labor Party "(Maoist) abstained from action, 
falsely counterposing its ever-recurring and ever-fail- 
ing community organization progi-ams to electoral ac- 
tion. The decisive failure on the left, however, was 
that of the Conference for New Politics (CNP) forces, 
whose core was the Berkeley student left. Prior to and 

through the Los Angeles Conference on Power and 
Politics, these forces had it within their grasp to 
organize an alternative write-in campaign which would 
have broken with Democratic Party liberalism and 
helped to lay the groundwork for a new labor-oriented 
party. Even at the LA Conference they decisively de- 
feated the CP and liberal forces and pi*ecipitated a 
walk-out by these pro-Brown elements. Genuine class- 
oriented independence, however, is not within the per- 
spectives of this formation; thus they sat out the 
election with a total boycott position in the north and 
with a partial attempt at a "positive boycott" in the 
south. On the extreme left of the CNP spectrum stood 
the Draperite Independent Socialist Committee (ISC), 
which fought militantly and effectively for a write-in 
campaign, but without specific class content, at the LA 
Conference; the ISC, however, has since gone along as 
the loyal opposition within the CNP and refused sup- 
port for a socialist alternative. 

At this point one would expect the Socialist Workers 
Party, claiming a revolutionary outlook and the mantle 
of orthodox Trotskyism, to step into the breach. How- 
ever, the SWP attempted to play it both ways. The 
SWP did formally run a write-in candidate. No odder 
campaign, however, has been seen since the Commu- 
nist Party ran Browder for President in 1936 while 
actually supporting Roosevelt. Undermined by their 
long-standing abstentionist attitude, hampered by their 
overemphasis on organizational control, trapped by 
their single-issue position in the anti-war movement, 
the SWP sabotaged their own campaign, leaving it to 
Spartacist to raise the question of support to the SWP 
in various radical organizations. The climax came on 
the weekend before elections when Spartacists, dis- 
tributing election literature for the SWP candidates, 
encountered YSAers, distributing leaflets on the Viet- 
nam war which did not even mention the election. The 
West Coast member of the Wohlforthite American 
Committee (ACFI), contrary to the public line of The 
Bulletin, accommodated himself to the CNP and issued 
a leaflet supporting the boycott. 

Class-Oriented Alternative 

It would be foolish in the extreme to deny that the 
GOP victory in California and the nation represents 
an advance for reaction. What wc do most emphatically 
deny is that the way to fight this reaction is to support 
the Democratic Party and the capitalist system it 
serves. That party, serving the same masters as Rea- 
gan's GOP, has paved the way for this reactionary 
victory, and, should it be restored to nower in four or 
eight years, it will do so again, but more conservative- 
ly. This is an inherently, organically, constitutionally 
built-in characteristic of liberal-democratic capitalist 
politics. It is, therefore, with the independent left that 
the solution to the dilemma lies. The decisive factor 
in preserving the impasse and permitting continued 
rightward drift is the failure of the left to provide 
leadership toward a serious class-oriented alternative 
to capitalist politics. If the crisis of leadership can be 
overcome, then an altei'native can be presented which 
can attract support on a mass basis, among Black 
militants, the working class, the disaffected intelli- 
gentsia and even among some of those very elements 
Reagan camp. ■ — Geoffrey White 

14 — 


Does Soviet Nuclear Shield Cover Hanoi? 


On lU Novemher, Berkeley students 
picketed Soviet Attache Rogochov in 
protest over Soviet refusal to effective- 
ly defend North Vietnam from U.S. 
bombings. Spartacists distributed the 
following leaflet. 

Within the limitations of our power, 
we and many others in this country, 
have acted to oppose the imperialist 
war the U.S. government (it is not 
"our" government) is waging against 
the working people of Vietnam. Now 
we ask you what your government, 
with its vast military and economic 
power, has done in this respect. 

The words of your spokesmen in the 
United Nations and elsewhere are fre- 
quently eloquent, but long experience 
with the beautiful words of our own 
ruling class has made us look beyond 
words to deeds. The U.S. Army, Mr. 
Attache, has a device called Red Eye, , 
which launches heat-seeking missiles 
at airplanes and can be carried in 
rough terrain by one man. We are sure 
that a technology which has produced 
Sputniks and cosmonauts galore has 
also mass-produced an analogous wea- 
pon. Why are they not in Vietnam, 
where they could provide critical pro- 
tection to men and women willing to 
die in a cause that you profess to sup- 
port? Why are you sending fifteen- 
year-old SAM II missiles to Vietnam 
when you have a plentiful supply of 
SAM Ill's, which would provide real 
protection to the cities and villages of 
North Vietnam? Why, just when the 
manpower strain was beginning to 
have some effect on the U.S., did you 
propose to withdraw troops from the 
Berlin area, thus freeing U.S. troops 

. . . POSADAS 

(Continued from Page 7) 

The effects of the Tricontinental were 
soon felt in Guatemala. Castro had 
brutally blackmailed Yon Sosa into the 
arms of the FAR, and Yon Sosa could 
not defend the MR-13 against the pres- 
tige and influence of the Cuban Bona- 
parte. In April, as we have already 
said, the Latin American Bureau was 
expelled from the MR-13. 

Overtures from the MR-13 to the 
Fidelist FAR were to be expected soon 
after the expulsion of Posadas' sec- 
tion and were reported in September 
for the first time. (See National 
Guardian, 3 Sept. 1966; New York 
Times, 4 Oct. 1966; World Outlook, 
25 Nov. 1966.) The MR-13 accepted 
the Tricontinental resolutions, which 
were openly anti-Guevarist, and the 
hegemony of the FAR in the Guatema- 
lan guerrilla movement. Thus was the 

to expand the butchery in Vietnam? Is 
that not a clear-cut Soviet contribu- 
tion to the defeat of the NLF? One last 
question Mr. Attache: for years you 
have used the threat of your own nu- 
clear weapons system to shield Soviet 
cities against U.S. nuclear attack. Does 
this protection extend to Peking? to 
Hanoi? Does the Soviet nuclear shield 
cover Hanoi? Your failure so to state 
and your obscene chase after a detente 
with the imperialists at the price of 
other people's revolutions, and ulti- 
mately at the expense of the gains of 
the October Revolution, encourage the 
U.S. on a road clearly leading to nu- 
clear attack against Chinese nuclear 
installations and, if imperialist ends 
cannot be achieved by less drastic 
means, against targets in North Viet- 
nam. A credible statement by your 
government that a nuclear attack on 
the Democratic Republic of North Viet- 
nam or the People's Republic of China 
would be treated as an attack on 
the Soviet Union itself would not in- 
crease the danger of atomic Armaged- 
don, but vastly lessen it. You accept 
this logic for the protection of your 
own cities, why not for those of peo- 
ple whom you unctuously call "brother- 

May we suggest, Mr. Rogochov, that 
you cannot answer these questions in 
a Marxist or socialist framework be- 
cause you represent a regime and a 
social stratum which is the mortal en- 
emy of both. The CCP and the Maoists 
internationally call you "revisionists" 
at every turn, but they refrain from a 
serious social analysis of why this di- 
sease has afflicted the first workers 

MR-13 brought into line with Fidelism. 

A wave of pessimism and defeatism 
has hit the Latin American "radical" 
petty-bourgeoisie after the Guatemalan 
events, the destruction of the Peruvian 
MIR and the strengthening of impe- 
rialism in the continent. Guevarism 
is now a routed ideology in many parts 
of Latin America, where armed strug- 
gle has been severely smashed. Po- 
sadas' International had adapted it- 
self, in Guatemala, to Guevarism and 
was therefore severely crippled, along 
with it, by Castro. Wherever Guevar- 
ism tries to appear again, it will have 
to face the wrath of Fidelism and im- 
perialism alike. 

Proletarian Political Program 

Nevertheless the program of Gue- 
varism does not represent the concrete 
socialist needs of the oppressed masses 
in Latin America, because it subordin- 
ates proletai'ian political program to 
purely military and tactical maneuv- 
ering, as Maoism did in China. It is 

state. This is because they themselves 
represent an earlier stage of the same 
degeneration. Their criticisms of 
Khrushchev and Brezhnev — in the 
name of Stalin — have cut them off from 
•decent socialists everywhere. We, how- 
ever, suggest that your betrayal of the 
Vietnamese Revolution is not an er- 
ror, not a failure of nerve, nor any 
other conjunctural and fortuitous 
event. We suggest that you represent 
a bureaucratic social stratum which 
has usurped the power of the working 
class and which, in order to hang onto 
its power and privileges, will and must 
seek an understanding with world im- 
perialism, at the expense of the revo- 
lutionary peoples everywhere, and first 
and foremost at the expense of your 
own people. We suspect that you feel 
much more at ease, Mr. Rogochov, with 
the retinue of the arch-imperialist 
Johnson and his intellectual apologists 
than with real revolutionaries or, god 
forbid, workers, with whom your only 
contact is via the chauffeur of your 
limousine. . . . 

We believe, Mr. Rogochov, that the 
world revolution will triumph, either 
that or that we will all die together, 
capitalist, bureaucrat and the people 
alike. Bu.t we think that this revolu- 
tion will triumph not through and be- 
cause of you and your like, but via 
a road whereon your political carcass 
will be trampled down alongside Lyn- 
don Johnson's. Can you prove us 


Bay Area Spartacist League 
14 November 1966 

highly feasible to speak of an inter- 
Latin-American proletarian revolution, 
either sparked by the proletariat of 
small countries like the Dominican Re- 
public, Uruguay or Bolivia, or initi- 
ated by the advanced working classes 
of Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, Chile 
or Mexico, the most industrialized coun- 
tries in Latin America. This perspec- 
tive implies the complete political ex- 
tirpation of Stalinism in the trade un- 
ions and of Fidelism and Guevarism in 
the peripheral revolutionary struggles. 

Posadas' cadres, if they do not 
cleanse themselves of Posadas' oppor- 
tunism and unprincipled revisionism, 
will play no part in the building of a 
Latin American proletarian vanguard, 
and will have to be extirpated with the 
political body to which Posadas hap- 
pens to be attached when the class- 
conscious Latin American proletariat 
puts an end to petty-bourgeois Philis- 
tinism, adventurism and unprincipled 
revisionism. ■ — Espartaco Staff 



(Continued from Page 16) 

the rulini? class learned especially from 
the FSM. Objectively, the FSM pre- 
pared its own defeat by concentrating 
student discontent and radicalism on 
a long, exhausting: campus fight which 
was unable to really affect the ruling 
class' interests. Although the students 
won some gains through the FSM, they 
were unable to maintain and develop 
a viable link between student radical- 
ism and the class struggle in society. 
As a result, the students were unable 
to maintain even their small gains 
against constant administrative whit- 

Students swelled the ranks of the 
civil rights movement; they led the 
anti-war movement. These activities 
have been directed, and misled, by the 
liberal-union-Democratic peace coali- 
tion, headed by people such as Walter 
Reuther, Martin Luther King, and pa- 
cifist organizations like SANE. This 
coalition's failure to provide more than 
token concessions from the ruling class 
has led in the civil rights movement to 
the Black Power rebellion, in which the 
role of white students is so far mini- 
mal. The inability of anti-war demon- 
strations to effect the end of the war 
has inspired some radicalization of stu- 
dents, but has also caused widespread 
demoralization. Many students have 
become frustrated with the failures of 
these movements to alter the oppres- 
sive power structure and with the grow- 
ing isolation of radicals in a rightward- 
moving environment. 

"Student Power" 
This frustration and isolation are 
reflected within the student movement 
itself in the form of the '"student 
power" demand. The radical student 
today wants a basic alteration in the 
power structure which has frustrated 
all his idealistic efforts to change so- 
ciety and alienated him so completely, 
both on campus and off. Yet student 
power is an absurdity and a dangerous 
illusion. While it expresses the in- 
creased radicalism of the student move- 
ment and registers a well-justified "no- 
confidence" in the administrative para- 
sites of the knowledge factory, it does 
not confront or explain the isolation of 
the movement within an already reac- 
tionary society. A "true community of 
scholars" is a hopeless illusion in a 
society where the LBJ's and Reagans 
still hold undisputed sway. Not so much 
out of fear and intimidation, but out 
of their own basic interests, the fac- 
ulty sought to maintain their positions 
as liberal advisers to the power struc- 
ture — at the expense of the students. 
Talk of a radical reordering of power 
on campus without confronting the 
need for a revolutionary reordering of 
society can only lead to impotent ref- 

ormism (more of those student com- 
mittees "working closely" with the ad- 
ministration!) or to the equally impo- 
tent — and inherently reactionary — per- 
sonal "out" via the sugar cube. 

While growing increasingly radical 
on campus, the student movement has 
in fact done little to break its isolation. 
Though the old "progressive" coalition 
is virtually broken and widely discred- 
ited, its keystone — the Democratic 
Party — is thoroughly intact. The move- 
ment has failed to offer even an exemp- 
lary alternative to the two-party trap 
which gripped the country once again 
this November. The boycott of the elec- 
tion initiated by dissident reform Dem- 
ocrats still refusing to break with the 
Party was symbolic of the student 
movement's abdication of a political 
role. A socialist alternative, offered by 
the Socialist Workers Party, went prac- 
tically unsupported not only by the stu- 
dent movement, but also by the revi- 
sionist SWP itself! 

Working-Class Revolutionaries 

It is false to assume that the student 
movement can break its isolation by 
merely seeking "allies" in the labor 
movement. Workers don't have an in- 
terest in turning out to secure judicial 
review for students. Student radicals 
cannot change society merely as stu- 
dents because they lack the power. 
Workers, on the other hand, do have 
an interest in fighting the bosses; they 
are continually forced into an endless 
struggle against the unemployment, in- 
flation and exploitation which are per- 
manent features of capitalist society. 
Yet it is naive and hypocritical to sit 
back and expect the workers to "rise," 
come to the rescue of the students and 
remake society without revolutionary 
consciousness and leadership. Students 
must go to the workers not as students 
seeking allies and followers, but as rev- 
olutionaries, with the understanding 
that only the working class, because of 
its unique position as society's produc- 
ers, has the power to lead a social rev- 
olution in modern society. This in- 
volves a complete change of orienta- 
tion, from student radical to working- 
class revolutionary, and an adoption of 
Marxism, the ideology of the revolu- 
tionary working-class struggle. 

It is only through the construction 
of a revolutionary Marxist party that 
the struggles of students, workers and 
Black people can be effectively linked. 
As has happened again and again 
throughout the history of American 
radicalism, independent movements 
that fail to break with the social sys- 
tem and to take the revolutionary path 
invariably get absorbed by the likes of 
the Democratic Party. This party must 
be not "pressured" but smashed. It is 
this party that prevents successful 
class struggle by keeping the various 
sections of the working class divided 
against each other— and all voting 

Democratic. This is the chief political 
weapon of the ruling class. Linking 
the struggles of the oppressed requires 
revolutionary organization, opposition 
to the ruling class on a class basis and 
a political struggle to smash the Dem- 
ocratic Party and the two-party sys- 
tem. Student, union and ghetto frac- 
tions need to be built to connect the 
party with the struggles of the masses, 
form a base and link the day-to-day 
struggles of the people. 

Spartacist Cadre 

As progenitor of such a revolution- 
ary mass party, the Spartacist League 
conducts exemplary activity to this 
effect, with working fractions in Har- 
lem, in several unions, and in the deep 
South. A new generation of revolu- 
tionary cadres is needed, however, to 
strengthen the movement and build it 
to the point that a full-time turn to 
mass agitational work will be possible. 
Much of this cadre must come from the 
radicalized student movement. Stu- 
dents should orient their thinking to 
the ideology of the revolutionary work- 
ing-class struggle and take their radi- 
calism to society in the form of revo- 
lutionary politics. ■ 

Spartacist Local Directory 

AUSTIN. Box 8165, Univ. Sta., Austin, Texai 

78712. phone: GR 2-3716. 
BALTIMORE. Box 1345, Main P.O., Baltimore, 

Md. 21203. phone: LA 3-3703. 
BERKELEY. Box 852. Main P.O., Berkeley, Calif. 

94701. phone: TH 8-7369. 
CHICAGO. Box 6044, Main P.O., Chicago, III. 

60680. phone: 281-4296. 
COLUMBUS. Box 3142, Univ. Sta., Columbus, 

Ohio 43210. 
EUREKA. Box 3061, Eureka, Calif. 95501. 

phone: 442-1423. 
HARTFORD. Box 57, Blue Hill Sta., Hartford, 

Conn. 06112. phone: 525-1257. 
HOUSTON. Box 18434, Eastwood Sta., Houston, 

Texas 77023. 
ITHACA. Box 442, Ithaca, N.Y. 14851. phone: 

AR 7-1619. 

LOS ANGELES. Box 4054, Terminal Annex, Los 
Angeles, Calif. 90054. phone: 783-4793. 

MISSISSIPPI, (contact New Orleans) 

NEW ORLEANS. Box 8121, Gentilly Sta., New 
Orleans, La. 70122. phone: 522-2194. 

NEW YORK. Box 1377, G.P.O., New York City, 
N.Y. 10001. phones: National Office-WA 5- 
2426; Uptown — 781-8722; Downtown — 447- 

PHILADELPHIA. Box 1827, Wm. Penn Annex, 

Philadelphia, Pa. 19105. 
SAN FRANCISCO (contact Berkeley) 
SEATTLE (contact Berkeley or New York) 
YOUNGSTOWN (contact ^olumbus or New 


v r 

Fraternal Group 

SEATTLE. Freedom Socialist Party of Washing- 
ton. Freeway Hall, 3815 Fifth Ave. N.E., 
Seattle, Wash. 98105. phone: ME 2-7449. 





The Berkeley Student Strike 

Two years ago, Berkeley students 
sought to secure their rights of free 
speech and political advocacy on cam- 
pus. Now they seek a decisive voice in 
controlling their university. The 1964 
Free Speech Movement revealed the to- 
tal bankruptcy of the university's lib- 
eral administration and its dependence 
on brute force to maintain its power — 
but that power was left intact. Now, 
recognizing that university administra- 
tions serve the interests of powerful 
forces in the society, and not the inter- 
ests of students and teachers, the stu- 
dents are challenging the authority of 
the administrators to rule on campus. 

At the Berkeley campus, this devel- 
opment arises out of the behavior of 
the administration, which has become 
progressively more antagonistic to the 
students' interests. So far this year, 
one student was threatened with dis- 
ciplinary action for the content of his 
criticism of the administration; an- 
other student was disciplined for bring- 
ing student aid to the Black ghetto 
struggle against the racist Oakland 
school system. On 14 November, Chris 
Kinder, a young non-student member 
of the Spartacist League, was ar- 
rested under the Mulford Act (passed 
in 1965 to "protect" the campus from 
"outside agitators") for handing out 
leaflets on campus. Finally the admin- 
istration threatened to ban the noon 
rallies on the Sproul Hall steps, tradi- 
tional podium for radical dissent. Cam- 
pus organizations, political and non- 
political, banded together in a Council 
of Campus Organizations (CCO) and 
gained widespread support from the 
student body for another free speech 

Strike Demands 

The spark which touched off the 
strike, however, was another issue: 
cops on campus. Alameda County dep- 



Box 1377, G.P.O. 
New York, N. Y. 10001 

twelve issues — $1 
six issues — 500 



uties, called in by the vice-chancellor, 
invaded the campus on 30 November 
to arrest all the non-students in a dem- 
onstration against a Navy recruiting- 
table in the Student Union. In a mass 
meeting that night over 2,000 students 
voted unanimously to strike the uni- 
versity. The students adopted the fol- 
lowing strike demands, which were ap- 
proved with near unanimity by the 
crowd of 8,000 to 10,000 which packed 
Sproul Plaza the following day: 
— no cops on campus to "solve" politi- 
cal problems; 
— complete amnesty by the university 
and the courts for all demonstrators; 
— privileges for all off-campus groups 
and individuals to equal those of gov- 
ernment agencies; 
— open disciplinary hearings bound by 

due process and judicial review; 
— effective student representation in 
formulating a new set of rules for 
student activity. 

The strike won the support of the 
teaching assistants union, some facul- 
ty members and, later, the Daily Cali- 
forniau. Few students had any illu- 
sions about immediate support from 
the faculty, but many thought that the 
faculty would take a favorable stand 
once the students led the way, as had 
happened during the FSM fight. It 
was a serious blow for the students, 
therefore, when the faculty's Academic 
Senate came down overwhelmingly 
against the students in a meeting on 
5 December. The faculty declared "'that 
the strike should end immediately," 
urging the chancellor not to punish 
striking students for events only 
through 5 December. The next day the 
regents of the university condemned 
the "disorders," especially those "in- 

stigated by outsiders," and declared 
that all university employees who con- 
tinued to strike would be fired. 

Strike Recess 

By the sixth, the teaching assistants 
and students decided in separate meet- 
ings to call a temporary recess in the 
strike because of final exams, only days 
away. Though strike committee sur- 
veys in the last few days of the strike 
indicated about 85 per cent support, 
the students and assistants were aware 
of their isolation, both on campus and 
in society. This awareness gave rise to 
strong feelings of "community," "love" 
and even "victory" among the students. 
The only outside support of any sig- 
nificance had come from the Alameda 
Central Labor Council, whose execu- 
tive committee granted official sanction 
to the striking teaching assistants. 

Besides increased radicalization of 
the students, the main difference be- 
tween the FSM and the current strug- 
gle is the isolation. Throughout the 
current crisis, the administration has 
sought to divide the movement by em- 
j>liasizing artifioial barriers between 
"student" and "non-student." On 30 No- 
vember the administration sought ar- 
rest warrants for only the "non-stu- 
dents," and during the strike the ad- 
ministration refused to negotiate with, 
or have present at the negotiations, any 
non-student representatives of the strik- 
ers, such as Mario Savio. 

Isolation of Students 

The Spartacist League, in connection 
with the arrest of Kinder under the 
Mulford Act, has stressed that isola- 
tion of the students is a primary goal 
of the administration and a i)uint which 
(Continue^ on Page 15) 

Healy at Liege and Peking . . . Page 2 



MAY-JUNE 1967 



' The war in Viet Nam and the movement against it 
have proven critical tests of the program and principles 
of every ostensibly revolutionary organization. To the 
extent that any group has wavered in its revolutionary 
obligation to state what is, or has substituted maneuv- 
ering and petty organizational diplomacy for working- 
class politics, it bears responsibility fpr whatever de- 
feats and betrayals occur here and in Viet Nam. 

Nominal Revolutionaries 

The Socialist Workers Party and the Young Social- 
ist Alliance, as the largest organized, nominally revolu- 
tionary tendency in the anti-war movement, have played 
a singularly pernicious role, and bear unique respoiisi- 
bility for its present domination by right-wing forces. 
The recent history of the SWP-YSA has been one of 
unbridled opportunism, rotten compromises and orgai^- 
izational maneuvering, surpassed only by the reformist 
Communist Party with which they are presently in a 

The SWP-YSA decision to become involved in anti- 
war activities was precipitated by the April 1965 March 
on Washington, which turned out an unexpected 15,000 
protestors. The murder of Malcolm X in February of 
that year had left the SWP in a state of suspended 
animation, in need of a movement over which they 
could enthuse and in which they could submerge, to 
re-appear as a "revolutionary" party only during elec- 
tion season. 

"Nevi^" Popular Front 

The political basis for the SWP's participation in the 
anti-war movement was soon evolved — the concept of a 
"single-issue" movement. This "new" theory strikingly 
parallels the "peoples front of all democratic forces" 
developed by Stalinism in 1935, and is predicated on the, 
illusion that a large multi-class peace movement, with 
no specific program, can "pressure" the imperialist 
government of the U.S. into ending the Vietnamese war 
or, by logical extension, any war. Any attempt to place 
the war in a larger framework, to relate it to other 
aspects of capitalism, is considered "divisive" by the 

The first obstacle to the SWP's Single Issue Society 
was the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). Al- 
though they lack a clear class analysis of the war, the 

SDS'ers include the struggle against war as part of a 
perspective for general social change. Instead of educat- 
ing th